British indie pop duo Her's killed in US car crash

Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading (above) died with their manager while travelling to a gig in California.
Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading (above) died with their manager while travelling to a gig in California.PHOTO: FACEBOOK

LONDON (AFP) - British-based pop duo Her's have been killed in a road accident in the United States, where they were on tour, their record label said on Friday (March 29).

Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading died along with manager Trevor Engelbrektson while travelling to a gig in California on Wednesday, said the label, Heist or Hit.

"It is with overwhelming sadness that we regretfully inform you that Liverpool band Her's... tragically passed away in a road accident in the early hours of Wednesday, 27th March whilst travelling to a show in Santa Ana, California.

"We are all heartbroken."

The indie duo were on their second US tour to promote debut album Invitation To Her's.

Fitzpatrick, from north-west England, and Laading, from Norway, met while studying at university in Liverpool.

"As humans, they were warm, gentle and hilarious," the label said in a statement on Facebook, calling them "one of the UK's most loved up and coming bands."

"They were in America playing to thousands of adoring fans. Fans they made a point of meeting and spending time with, such was their passion and humbleness."

First Avenue - the legendary Minneapolis nightclub known as the home turf of the late pop icon Prince - also paid tribute to the band as well as Minnesota's own Engelbrektson, saying the crash "sent shockwaves through our community."

"This is a reminder to hold your friends close," the club tweeted.

"Tell your people that you love them."

The band was due to wrap their tour with a gig in Santa Ana, California, having played in Phoenix, Arizona the previous night.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety reported that a collision between a pick-up truck and 15-passenger van had left four people dead early on Wednesday.

Authorities have not publicly released the victims' names, but said they were were badly burned in the accident.

"We don't know the exact speeds, but two heavy vehicles, coming into contact with each other at full speed - the impact is huge and devastating," state trooper Kameron Lee told journalists.

"Both vehicles caught fire because of this high impact, and now four people are gone."

Her's began gaining recognition in Britain and the United States after British media cited the duo as "ones to watch," with the BBC promoting them on its new artists platform.

The band posted a poignant final Facebook message on Monday, writing: "It's almost home time for the lads, US tour has gone swimmingly so far. Got a hot sunset date with the Grand Canyon tonight."