British band Her’s died in ‘huge and devastating’ crash fireball after ‘full-speed’ head-on smash that cops say they’ll ‘never forget’


A BRITISH music duo who died in a crash while touring the US on Wednesday were killed in a head-on smash that cops say they will “never forget”.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, 24, and Audun Laadig, 25, who comprised Liverpool indie duo Her’s, were on their way to a gig in Santa Ana, California, when they were involved in a suspected head-on collision with a truck.

This was the last photo taken of Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading, who comprised the band Her’s
The scorched wreckage of a car that was used by the band being towed away following a horror crash in Arizona
12 News

The pair both died along with their tour manager, Trevor Engelbrektson, in the smash that reportedly resulted in a fire engulfing their vehicle.

A fourth person, believed to be the driver of the other pick-up trick, also died at the scene – although formal identification has yet to take place due to the severity of their injuries.

A spokesman for the Arizona Department of Public Safety told the BBC the release of information about the crash would be delayed because of “almost all evidence being lost in the fire”.

They added: “The bodies are not identifiable and we are relying on the Medical Examiner’s office to help with positive identification.”

Local police spokesman Kameron Lee told MailOnline: “We don’t know the exact speeds, but two heavy vehicles coming into contact at full speed, the impact is huge and devastating.

“Both vehicles caught fire due to this impact and now four people are gone. This is something the troopers investigating will never forget.”

Lead singer and guitarist Stephen, from Barrow in Furness, and bass player Audun, originally from Norway, met at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

In a statement posted on Facebook, the band’s label Heist Or Hit wrote: “We are all heartbroken. Their energy, vibrancy and talent came to define our label.

“As humans, they were warm, gentle and hilarious. Each time they stopped by the office made for an uplifting experience.

“To say they were close would be an underestimation of a friendship that was genuinely beautiful to witness; they loved one another like brothers.

“Musically, Her’s were astonishing. An aptitude for melody, fun, and entertainment combined with a complexity that was as sophisticated as it was stylish.”

In a heartbreaking Instagram post on Monday, they said they were “almost home” following their second tour of the US.

It read: “It’s almost home time for the lads, US tour has gone swimmingly so far.”

To say they were close would be an underestimation of a friendship that was genuinely beautiful to witness; they loved one another like brothers

Label Heist Or HitIn a statement on Facebook

Their label’s statement continued: “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.

“The world was at their feet. Everyone here at the label is overwhelmed and distraught.

“We have lost our friends and the world has been denied their talent.”

Mr Engelbrektson, their experienced tour manager, had described the band as “the sweetest” he had ever worked with.

The last venue the group performed in, The Rebel Lounge in Arizona, also paid tribute to the band and their tour manger last night, saying: “We were honoured to be able to host them on their US tour.

“We never thought it would be their last show, they deserved so many more.

“Our deepest condolences go out to all their families and friends and everyone else who believed in them.”

Liverpool band Her’s comprised of Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading
PA:Press Association
The band posted this tragic final message just days before their death in the US

Her’s unique alternative pop sound was likened to artists Ariel Pink and Mac Demarco.

Using synths, funky guitar riffs and catchy beats, the fun and personable musicians were picking up a dedicated following.

They were also becoming known for featuring a cardboard cutout of Pierce Brosnan as James Bond – who appeared as the mysterious “third band member” on stage operating the automatic drum machine.

Their debut album Invitation To Her’s was released in 2018 – following on from their 2017 compilation Songs Of Her’s.

Such was their growing fame that the band featured on BBC Introducing last year and had been touted as ‘ones to watch’ by The Guardian.

BBC Introducing presenter Huw Stephens told the BBC the band were “excellent, funny and clearly loving playing to an American audience.

He added: “In their interview they spoke about their enduring friendship on tour, how Liverpool had adopted them as they’d moved there from Barrow-in-Furness and Norway respectively, and their excitement about the future.

“Their accomplished, joyous album released by their friends at Heist or Hit records, gained them many fans, and it will be some comfort that their music will still be enjoyed.”

Writing about the band in 2017, NME said: “Her’s are not a group to stand still.

“Each song they produce, from the lo-fi bedroom pop power of debut track to ‘Dorothy’ to the duo’s equally melodic take on slacker-rock on ‘Marcel’, sees the Liverpool-based duo shift and float between sounds, never really fitting into one genre, but somehow nailing whatever they end up doing.”

They had been on a 19-date second tour of the states to promote their debut album.

Fans and fellow musicians have paid tribute on social media to the popular band whose songs include “Love on the line” and “She Needs Him”.

Craig MacDonald tweeted: “I’m in utter shock and disbelief.

“The world is a cruel place sometimes.

“Stephen and Auden were wonderful people and fantastic musicians. All thoughts with their friends and family RIP xx.”

Jessie Atkinson wrote: “I’m so appalled by the news that Her’s and their tour manager have passed away. Impossible to comprehend.”

Adam said: “Absolutely devastating news about Her’s. So talented, so young, going places. Loved them.”

Another Twitter user wrote: “Her’s were a band that soundtracked last summer for me and I massively associate with really happy times – genuinely so upset they’ve passed away”.

Three years ago all four members of the band Viola Beach died when their car crashed into a bridge and fell into a canal.

The band, aged between 19-27 and from Warrington, had been touring Sweden in February 2016 at the time.

The two band members and their tour manager all died in the crash
12 News
Band mates Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading
Both members of the Liverpool band Her’s died in a tragic car crash while touring the US
The duo, comprised of Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading, were travelling to a gig in Santa Ana, California on Wednesday
Both died in the crash alongside their tour manager, Trevor Engelbrektson
Tributes for the pair have been pouring in
Craig MacDonald tweeted this tribute to the band
Jessie also paid tribute on Twitter


And Adam said he was ‘devastated’
A fan said she was ‘genuinely so upset’


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