Alton Towers to pay ‘millions in compensation’ as they accept full responsibility for crash

Alton Towers has accepted full responsibility for last week's horrific rollercoaster accident, which resulted in one teen having her leg amputated


by Jessica Anais Rach |
Published on

Leah Washington of South Yorkshire, was on a first date with new boyfriend Joe Pugh when their 16-person carriage of the Smiler ride ploughed into another carriage.

Tragically 17-year-old Leah suffered such severe leg injuries, her left leg had to be amputated above the knee.

Her boyfriend remains in hospital with two broken knees and hand injuries.

Fellow passengers Vicky Balch and Daniel Thorpe are described as in 'serious but stable' conditions.

Alton Towers yesterday admitted full responsibility for the incident, recommending the victims hire a lawyer to reach a compensation agreement.

Paul Paxton, head of personal injury at Stewarts Law – the firm representing Leah, Joe and Miss Balch, is responsible for securing the record pay-out for personal injury in Britain - £23million for a 13-year-old car crash victim in 2009.

Witnesses to the crash spoke to Good Morning Britain last week
Witnesses to the crash spoke to Good Morning Britain last week

He confirmed he was now working with the families of Leah, Joe and Miss Balch and said they were pleased there had been a formal admission of liability by Alton Towers.

He said: 'I will be meeting with the solicitors acting for Merlin and its insurers this week to discuss the early release of money to assist with financial hardship and rehabilitation.'

A park spokesman said: 'Over the course of the weekend we have written again to all of the 16 people involved or to their families. These letters were all hand delivered by Alton Towers representatives.

'Irrespective of the outcome of the current investigations into the causes of the accident, in these letters we have accepted full responsibility to those who had been injured in the accident and confirmed that we will ensure that compensation will be provided to them.

'We have recommended each of the injured guests or their families instruct a lawyer and submit a claim for compensation which we will ensure is dealt with swiftly and sensitively.'

Leah's friend Alex Ashmore spoke out last night, telling ITV News: 'I think Leah's quite motivational. Nothing will stop her.

'Injuries like that you think they're not going to be able to do anything in life, but I think that's wrong.

'She's got lots to live for. She's looking at unis, she's turning 18 - she's got all sorts going off in her life and I don't think this incident will stop her.'

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