Alton Towers rollercoaster victim 'angry' with theme park


The boyfriend of a teenager who had her leg amputated after The Smiler ride crash said Alton Towers should have known there was something wrong with the ride.

Joe Pugh, who was on the rollercoaster with his girlfriend, Leah Washington, at Alton Towers, was giving his views nearly two weeks after the crash that left his knees shattered.

He recalled the "sickening bang" he heard as their carriage collided with another and how Leah screamed in pain amid a bloody scene as they sat trapped in the ride.

The pair were among five seriously injured people caught up in the crash which resulted in the Staffordshire theme park closing for six days.

Eighteen-year-old Mr Pugh told the Mail on Sunday: ‘I am angry because they should have known that there was an empty train on the track and after so many test circuits, there was clearly something going on, and they should have erred on the side of caution and shut down the ride.

"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."

The Smiler ride at Alton Towers remains closed Credit: PA

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 after what had happened.

He said he and the others on the ride had been forced to get off twice before it began so staff could carry out safety checks, and then described a nervous 20-minute delay as the rollercoaster paused on one of the loops.

Mr Pugh added that 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.