Smiler crash victim's leg amputated
A victim of the Alton Towers rollercoaster crash has had her right leg amputated below the knee, her lawyer said tonight.
Vicky Balch, 20, from Lancashire, was among five people seriously injured when the Smiler ride collided with an empty carriage on June 2.
Her lawyer Paul Paxton said tonight that Miss Balch's bravery in fighting to keep her leg "has not been rewarded".
Mr Paxton, head of personal injury at Stewarts Law, said: " This morning, my client, Vicky Balch, has had her right leg amputated below the knee.
"Vicky has had a long and incredibly painful fight to retain her leg. Regrettably, her bravery has not been rewarded. The step was taken to remove the leg following seven bouts of surgery. Further surgery will be required in the immediate future, which may involve a more acute amputation.
"The family continue to be grateful for all well-wishers, though they do seek privacy during this difficult period of rehabilitation."
Miss Balch and her family thanked medical staff for their care and support.
Miss Balch has previously said that she "just wanted to die" as she waited hours to be rescued from the ride.
Fellow victim Leah Washington, 17, had her leg amputated above the knee.
Miss Balch was sitting in the front seats alongside Miss Washington, Miss Washington's boyfriend Joe Pugh, 18, who shattered his knee, and Daniel Thorpe, 27, a hotel assistant-manager from Buxton in Derbyshire who was treated for a collapsed lung and fractured leg.
Chandaben Chauhan, 49, of Wednesbury, West Midlands, also suffered injuries.
Miss Balch, who had a four-and-a-half hour wait for rescue, has previously told the BBC: "It felt like slow motion. We banged into the car in front. I felt the bars go into my knees; we moved backwards and the car went into us again.
"I passed out. I was awoken by Dan shouting my name. Everyone was screaming and I was in excruciating pain. I looked down and I could see blood all over.
"The bars were in my right knee.
"The only thought that was going through my mind for the hours and hours that we were stuck was that we were going to die. If I was going to survive I would never walk again, that was certain.
"I thought it was never going to end. I just wanted to die."