Crash That Killed British Indie Band Viola Beach May Have Been ‘Deliberate,’ Police Say

Inattention by the driver is another possible cause of the accident in Sweden that killed all four members of the band and their manager

The fatal car crash that killed all four members of British indie band Viola Beach and their manager last February might have been deliberate or caused by an inattentive driver, according to police in Sweden.

Lars Berglund, one of the officers investigating the crash, told Sweden’s Aftonbladet that the way the band’s rented car accelerated past two crash barriers as a bridge was being raised to let through a boat might have indicated intent, The Guardian reported.

Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe, Jack Dakin and manager Craig Tarry — who were between 19 and 35 and from Warrington, England — perished in the fatal crash on Feb. 13. The four-piece group had played their first gig outside the U.K. at Sweden’s Where’s the Music? festival, just hours before the accident on the E4 highway in Stockholm’s Sodertalje district.

Closed-circuit television footage shows the band’s car stopping behind other vehicles at the barrier before squeezing past them on the road shoulder and through the first barrier. The band’s vehicle then sped through another barrier before hitting the partially-opened bridge and dropping almost 100 feet into a canal.

“My theory is that he [the driver] was inattentive for some reason, perhaps talking on a mobile phone or turning round to the others in the car, and he didn’t see the barrier in time,” Berglund later told the local newspaper Länstidningen Södertälje. The unnamed driver may also have been “knocked out with his foot on the accelerator and just gone on into the second barrier,” the investigating officer said.

Last month Swedish police said the driver of the car had no trace of alcohol or drugs in his blood, according to preliminary results.