QUESTIONS remain unanswered into the exact events that unfolded leading to the tragic deaths of Viola Beach and band manager Craig Tarry.

The inquest into the final moments of the lives of Jack Dakin, 19, Tomas Lowe, 27, Kris Leonard, 20, River Reeves, 19, and Craig Tarry was reopened at Warrington Town Hall today, Wednesday.

Loved ones of the five friends ­– who were destined to take the music industry by storm - packed into the public gallery in the hope of finding the answers they desperately deserve about what transpired on that fateful morning of February 13.

But frustrations were evident as family members asked for answers about whether the bridge needed to be raised, the height and visibility of signs and the lack of written warning about the moving bridge.

Concerns were raised about the evidence that was unavailable during the inquest but Coroner of Cheshire Nicholas Rheinberg ruled for the hearing to continue.

The inquest heard how 32-year-old Craig was driving the hire car  when it plunged approximately 30 metres off a bridge on the E4 motorway into the Södertälje Canal in Sweden.

The group were on their way back from their first international gig which was launched the year previous to showcase emerging talent in the music industry.

During the hearing, Viola Beach agent Graham Bennett said the band had impressed senior figures within the notoriously-difficult industry after performing at the gig.

He said: “It was good. They had done very well.

“There were high level promoters who were very enthusiastic.”

It is believed the band left the showcase sometime after midnight with Craig driving the rented Nissan Qashqai.

The inquest heard that the car was travelling slightly over the speed limit at 108km/h in a 100km/h zone.

As the car travelled in the direction of the canal, plans were put in place to open the bridge for a tanker.

Other vehicles had stopped ahead of the barriers in preparation of the bridge opening.

While one of the warning lights was not in full working order, there were 10 other signals in operation. 

There was also a reported issue with the frequency converter alarm being activated but this was not uncommon and was reset by the operator and delayed the bridge by a minute.

The road was described as in a good state of repair but it was damp with no signs of frost.

The car was initially driving in the right-hand lane shortly after 2am before moving over to the left-hand lane which had a shorter queue of traffic.

The vehicle braked briefly and the speed fell before moving to the verge of the left-hand lane and driving through the first barrier.

The car then travelled in a 'controlled manner' at between 70 and 90km/h down the centre of the road.

The inquest heard how it is difficult to confirm what happened next in the seconds before the car ploughed off the bridge.

PC Mike Baddeley said the driver may not have realised the vehicle in front was stationary and quickly braked and ‘looked for another option’.

At the time of the collision, no-one reported the crash and it was some time later when the emergency services were alerted and arrived at the scene.

During this time the tanker would have then passed over or near to the car which was later discovered upside down on the bottom of the canal bed.

The crew on board the vessel have since confirmed they did see something fall from the bridge which was reported via a radio message but their initial suspicion was that ice had fallen from the bridge.

From the control room, it was reported a ‘thud’ was heard but this was put down to falling ice which sometimes freezes on the bridge and then breaks when it is lifted.

Concerns were raised by Sharon Dunne, River’s stepmother, about safety procedures and why this sound was not investigated thoroughly.

Toxicology reports revealed there was no evidence of drug taking but a small account of alcohol had been consumed by Tomas, Kris, River and Jack.

Craig, who was behind the wheel of the car, had not been drinking or taking drugs, an inquest heard.

It was also not possible to gather evidence from the vehicle’s electronic systems.

Post-mortem examinations revealed that four of the five friends died from head injuries apart from Tomas whose cause of death was given as drowning.

The coroner added due to their injuries, none of the group would have suffered.

Improvements have also been recommended by Swedish authorities to the area where the crash happened including cameras on the bridge.

Coroner Rheinberg concluded that all five died as a result of a road traffic collision.

Speaking to their loved ones, he added: "While it's not for me to speculate it is not known or it may never be known what happened.

"The evidence that we have been provided with reveals the most awful tragedy for all of you."

Following the inquest, a statement was read out on behalf of the families.

It read: “The families of River, Tom, Jack, Kris and Craig wish to thank everyone for their kind support at this heart breaking time and the support they have shown over the past 10 months.

"The people of Warrington and the wider community have been truly amazing, especially in getting Viola Beach to number one.

"We would also like to thank Cheshire Police for their commitment to this case and the five boys who tragically lost their lives doing what they enjoyed."

Inspector Liz Cunningham added: “My team and I reviewed the investigation conducted by the Swedish Police to assist the Coroner in understanding and presenting the evidence gathered by the Swedish Police in relation to the collision which involved the members of Viola Beach and their manager.

“While clarity has been sought around some aspects of the investigation Cheshire Police has not re-investigated the incident.

“PC Mike Baddeley and I visited Stockholm to familiarise ourselves with the scene, to travel the route most likely taken by the members of Viola Beach and to establish normal Swedish Police protocols both in relation to incident response and investigation. This visit took place over three days and was six months after the incident.

“The Swedish Investigation Team were very accommodating and have been helpful throughout. A file was submitted to the Coroner by the Swedish Police the contents of the file have been presented to the Coroner by Cheshire Officers as Sweden does not have a Coronial system.”