Teen Injured In Alton Towers Roller Coaster Accident Has Leg Amputated

Leah Washington, 17, one of several people severely injured in the Alton Towers roller coaster crash, has had her leg amputated, BBC News is reporting.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, a malfunction last week on The Smiler, a 14-loop roller coaster at the Alton Towers theme park in Strattfordshire, England, led to a train full of passengers to crash into an empty train that was stopped on the track. At least five passengers suffered serious injuries in the crash.

Among the more seriously injured was Leah, of Barnsley, South Yorkshire, who was on a first date with her new boyfriend, Joe Pugh, 18, according to the Daily Mail. Washington severely injured her left leg in the crash, requiring a blood transfusion, and also fractured her left hand.

Leah's father, David Washington, issued a statement to the media today confirming that his daughter's left leg has been amputated above the knee.

"Leah has suffered a life-changing injury and now has many months of rehabilitation ahead of her. We have done this to put people's minds at rest and we would also ask everyone to respect Leah's privacy as she undergoes this rehabilitation."
The other passengers injured in the Alton Towers crash are:
  • Joe Pugh, 18, Leah's boyfriend, suffered two broken knees and "extensive" hand injuries.
  • Daniel Thorpe, 27, suffered a collapsed lung and a leg fracture.
  • Vicky Balch, 20, whose injuries have not been made public, but whose family confirms has had surgery and is "serious but stable" condition.
  • Chanda Singh, 49, a passenger in the second row of The Smiler who suffered multiple internal injuries, according to her daughter.
Owners Merlin Entertainments, the company that managers Alton Towers, said in a statement that they are "deeply saddened" by the accident and take "full responsibility."
"We are deeply saddened by Leah's news, and all our thoughts are with her and her family. We have made contact with all the families and have assured them that we will provide full support to all of those involved now, and throughout their recovery and rehabilitation."
Alton Towers closed for several days following the roller coaster crash, but has since re-opened. The Smiler remains closed. Although the park refuses to discuss attendance comparisons, a BBC reporter who was at the park this morning said that lines at the entrance for the 10:00 a.m. opening could be measured in the dozens, rather than the hundreds who would ordinarily be lined up at opening time.

Would you ride a roller coaster after a crash that injured several riders? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

[Image courtesy of: Getty Images / Christopher Furlong]