Līvi drummer, sound engineer die in accident

The drummer for the legendary Latvian guitar rock group Līvi, as well as the band’s sound engineer, were killed July 27 in a one-vehicle accident near Daugavpils, according to Latvian media reports.

Dead are drummer Dainis Virga and sound engineer Juris Jakovļevs. Guitarist Ainars Virga, who was driving the car, and bass player Jānis Grodums were injured.

Ainars Virga apparently lost control of the vehicle as the four were returning to Riga from a rock music concert in Daugavpils, media reports said.

“Latvian rock music has experienced one more heavy shock,” the group’s recording company, MICREC, said in a prepared statement, “and only in time will it be possible to understand what we have lost.”

The group is based in the port city of Liepāja.

One of the group’s founders, guitarist Ēriks Ķiģelis, also perished in a traffic accident in 1985. A former member, the popular singer Igo (Rodrigo Fomins), almost lost his life in a car accident in 2000.

The rock music festival “Saldus saule,” started as a memorial to Ķiģelis, also will recognize Dainis Virga and Jakovļevs, the newspaper Kurzemes Vārds reported. Līvi were scheduled to perform Aug. 1 during the two-day festival in Saldus.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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