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Viola Beach crash victims did not suffer, inquest hears

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Viola Beach crash victims did not suffer, inquest hears
Authorities examining the car wreck. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
07:37 CET+01:00
The members of tragic British indie band Viola Beach did not have to suffer when they crashed off a road bridge in Sweden, an inquest into their deaths has heard.

All four members of Viola Beach and their manager died when their car broke through two barriers and plummeted 25 metres from a canal bridge at Söderälje south of Stockholm as they were travelling home from a gig in Norrköping on February 13th.

Nobody has so far been able to explain why the crash happened, and a UK coroner told an inquest in Warrington on Wednesday that he did not think it will “ever be known”.

As The Local has previously reported, a post mortem held shortly after the crash found no traces of drugs and only small amounts of alcohol in the band members' blood. It found no alcohol or drugs in the blood of their manager, who was driving the car.

The car was driving slightly over the speed limit as it approached the bridge – at 108km/h in a 100km/h zone. One light signalling that the bridge was opening was out of order, reported the BBC from the inquest, but there were at least ten other working flashing signals and warning lights in place.

At the time the vehicle crashed off the bridge it is believed to have been travelling at around 70-90km/h.

Swedish traffic authorities told The Local earlier this year that the faulty light had not been working for three years and had been replaced with a new sign before the crash.

Coroner Nicholas Rheinberg told the inquest that manager Craig Tarry, 32, and band members Jack Dakin, Kris Leonard and River Reeves, all 19, died due to head injuries. Bass guitarist Tomas Lowe, 27, died due to drowning.

“None of the young men will have suffered,” he said, describing it as “the most awful tragedy”.

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