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Rollercoaster victim recalls horror at Alton Towers

By Staff Reporter

Published 15/06/2015

The Smiler ride at Alton Towers
The Smiler ride at Alton Towers

The boyfriend of a teenager who had her leg amputated after a rollercoaster crash has recalled the "sickening bang" he heard as their carriage collided with another.

Joe Pugh said his girlfriend Leah Washington screamed in pain and he described a bloody scene as they sat trapped in the Smiler ride at Alton Towers.

The pair were among five people seriously injured in the crash earlier this month which resulted in the Staffordshire theme park closing for six days. Mr Pugh (18), whose knees were shattered in the crash, told the Mail on Sunday: "I remember a sickening bang with metal grinding against metal and the safety bar being rammed against my knees. I looked at my hands and there was blood everywhere."

Leah (17), from Barnsley in South Yorkshire, suffered the most serious injuries, having her left leg amputated above the knee and being treated for a fractured hand.

Mr Pugh said it was his fourth time on the Smiler ride, which was the first rollercoaster he had been on, but he vowed never to venture on to a ride again.

Mr Pugh recalled the excited screams of his fellow passengers turned to horrified ones moments after the crash as they were stuck in the carriage at an angle of 45 degrees. "We couldn't believe what we were seeing," he said.

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