Alton Towers victim Joe Pugh on crash trauma: ‘I feel it’s going to happen again’

Alton Towers victim Joe Pugh has told of the mental trauma he continues to suffer following the horrific roller coaster crash

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by Fiona Day |
Published on

It’s been two months since 19-year-old Joe Pugh’s life changed forever when he rode the Smiler roller coaster at Alton Towers.

On a first date with girlfriend Leah Washington, 18, the pair were left horrifically maimed after riding at the front of the carriage.

After breaking both of his legs and fracturing bones in his hands, Joe continues to have flashbacks, particularly when he is riding in a car.

He explained to the Mail Online: "When I’m a passenger in a car I find that, when we come up to a junction I am mentally braking all the time, because of what’s happened.

"I feel like it’s just going to happen again."

In an interview with This Morning last month, he told of the moments before the crash which left him injured and girlfriend Leah Washington having to have her leg amputated.

He said: "We'd queued for an hour and a half. I'd already been on the ride four times - I loved it. I wanted to share it with Leah.

"When we got to the top of the incline, we got stuck for 20 minutes, and I said to Leah, 'this shouldn't be happening.'"

"All I could see was my finger cut open and the bone sticking out. I couldn't feel any pain.

"I saw people taking photos. I remember screaming and shouting at them to stop.

Girlfriend Leah lost her leg in the accident (ITV)

"It didn't seem like over four hours up there. i remained conscious all the way through, they were hanging out antibiotics but I didn't have any as I'm petrified of needles.

"All I had was two paracetamol when I got to the ambulance."

The pair have stayed together despite going through such a terrible ordeal, with Leah’s brother describing her immense ‘strength’ in the days following the crash.

Alton Towers has reportedly suffered after the crash, with crowds avoiding the park in the weeks after the incident.

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