LOVED ones have paid tribute to Viola Beach guitarist River Reeves who was killed when his band’s hire car plunged into a canal in Sweden last Saturday.
River, 19, who attended Potters Gate Primary School in Farnham but lived in Warrington in Cheshire, lost his life alongside fellow band members Kris Leonard, 19, Jack Dakin, 24, and Tomas Lowe, 27, and their manager, 32-year-old Craig Tarry.
The teenager’s family said they were "heartbroken" following River’s tragic death and by the circumstances which saw him lose his life with the band mates and manager he "adored and loved being with".
In a statement issued by the Foreign Office, River’s family said: “Viola Beach were on such an exciting journey and River could not have been happier. He would have loved to have stuck around for the party.
“All River wanted to do was perform and entertain and to think that he will never make us laugh again with his ridiculous impressions and cheeky banter is beyond comprehension for all his family.
"River had such talent and such humility, such charm and such innocence it seems so unfair that he can be taken so cruelly from us like this.
“We are so proud of him, not only for what he achieved in his short, beautiful life, but also what he was clearly destined to achieve. He will live forever in our hearts and we hope the band’s wonderful music lives on.”
A Farnham man whose son went to school with River also paid tribute to the musician, saying: “It is horrible, he was a lovely guy. I hadn’t seen him for years. He was at Potters Gate and I think he may have been at Weydon for a year. When his mother died many years ago they were still living in Farnham.
“He was very young and I think my wife said that he had deferred university for a year because the band seemed to be taking off.
“I remember him as a kid, he was in my son’s class and he still kept in touch with a lot of people from around here.
“He was very young and rather good looking, he would have made a brilliant pop star. It’ just really sad."
And he added: "That family has been through so much. I mean his older brother and his older sister, you know, they’ve lost their mother and now they’ve lost him. It’s horrendous.”
The group were travelling in a hired Nissan Qashqai as they made their way back to the airport in the Swedish capital Stockholm in the early hours of Saturday morning when they plunged off the Sodertalje bridge into a canal.
* Did you know River Reeves? Did you go to school with River? Get in touch with us know at the Herald by calling Daniel Gee on 01252 899221 or e-mail [email protected].