Leah and Joe were on their first date at Alton Towers
Last week Tuesday, 17 year old Leah Washington went on a date to Alton Towers with her boyfriend Joe Pugh. It turned out to be an unforgettable experience for them and 14 other passengers trapped on "The Smiler" ride at Alton Towers when the ride malfunctioned. Leah and Joe were seated on the front row of the Smiler ride, which crashed into an empty carriage in front of it. Leah's left knee has been amputated above her knee as a result of the accident and she suffered serious fractures to her left hand.
Her 18 year old boyfriend, Joe Pugh has broken both knees and also has a fractured hand. Two other passengers who were also seated in the front row of "The Smiler" sustained serious leg injuries. Daniel Thorpe (pictured below) had a fractured leg and collapsed lung, Vicky Balch (pictured below) turned 20 while undergoing treatment in hospital also had extensive injuries (both legs were crushed in the accident) and has undergone surgery.
A 49 year old lady - Chanda Chauhan who was seated on the second row of the ride is being treated for Internal injuries in hospital and has also undergone intensive surgery. She was on the ride with her 2 daughters - 26 year old Meera Singh and 29 year old Vanish whose injuries were not as extensive as their mother's.
L-R: Daniel Thorpe, Vicky Balch, Joe Purgh and Leah Washington
16 park visitors were stranded on the ride for four hours before they were rescued by emergency services. They were all taken to hospital after the incident.
Emergency Services spent 4 hours trying to rescue trapped victims
Emergency Services attempting to free trapped passengers
The park reopened to the public today - Monday 8th June. The park authorities said they had introduced extra safety measures in the park following the incident and closed some rides to visitors as a precautionary measure while investigations were ongoing. It also confirmed its responsibility to all those injured in the crash and promised to ensure compensation is paid.
Smiler, Dragonsfury, Rattlesnake and Saw closed till further notice