Viola Beach bridge crash was "accident"

Detectives believe the driver did not intend to kill himself or the band

Viola Beach, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspurs

Spectators applaud in an homage to the band at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester (AP Photo/Jon Super)

Police investigating the Viola Beach crash believe the British band died in an "accident".

Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe, Jack Dakin and manager Craig Tarry died when their hire car plunged 25 metres off a bridge, 18 miles from the Swedish capital Stockholm on 13 February.

Detectives told Sky News that they believe the driver - who has not been identified - did not intend to kill himself or the band, and the crash was due to "unfortunate circumstances".

Officers said their investigation will be completed next week, and a preliminary post-mortem has shown the driver did not have alcohol or drugs in his body.

CCTV footage from the Sodertalje canal bridge has shown the car was not travelling excessively quickly, and investigators have ruled out the possibility the driver fell asleep at the wheel.

Police investigator Lars Berglund told Sky News: "We think it was an accident, and was unfortunate circumstances."
He believes most of the band died when their black Nissan Qashqai hit the bridge.

Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet has produced a reconstruction of the footage.

It shows Viola Beach's vehicle braking as it pulled up behind a private car and taxi in a lane next to two lorries - all of which had stopped at the barriers, which were closed because of an approaching oil tanker.

Moments later, the band's car pulled out to the left onto the hard shoulder and sped up, crashing through the barrier as the bridge was raised.

Earlier Mr Berglund had said the driver "acted deliberately" in the moments before the crash and it is thought he may have been trying to avoid a collision.

Because no mechanical faults were found with the vehicle, barriers, traffic lights or warning signs on the bridge, the Swedish Accident Investigation Authority has reportedly decided not to take its probe any further.

Viola Beach had just finished their first ever gig outside the UK and were on their way to Arlanda Airport, north of Stockholm, when the crash happened shortly after 2am.

Minutes after the car plunged from the bridge, oil tanker Tellus passed over the spot where the wreckage of the car was found.

A campaign led by fans of the Warrington band saw their song Swings & Waterslides make number 11 in the Official Top 40 singles chart the week after their deaths.