The latest on the Smiler roller coaster crash at Alton Towers

Find all the latest updates on the Smiler roller coaster crash at Alton Towers in June 2015. Sixteen people were injured, with two women having to undergo leg amputations, after carriages on the theme park's flagship thrill ride crashed into each other.

Live updates

  1. National

Alton Towers crash ride reopens

Alton Towers rollercoaster Smiler has reopened, eight months after 20-year-old Vicky Balch lost a leg when it crashed.

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Miss Balch described the decision to reopen the ride to the public this weekend as "inappropriate and insensitive".

The owner of Alton Towers is to be prosecuted over crash in which five people were seriously injured, the Health and Safety Executive announced last month.

Today social media users reported "enthusiastic" crowds queued to get a ride on Smiler.

Smiler crash survivors present cheque to Midlands Air Ambulance

Two people who were seriously injured on the Smiler rollercoaster crash at Alton Towers last year have handed over a cheque to the Midlands Air Ambulance.

Leah Washington and Joe Pugh presented the cheque for more than £8701.10 to the service which helped save their lives after the crash last year.

The couple suffered severe leg injuries in the crash, with Leah having to have a leg amputated.

Three other passengers were also seriously injured.


  1. Chris Halpin

Smiler crash survivors criticise ride’s reopening

A woman who lost her leg in the Alton Towers Smiler rollercoaster crash has accused the park of putting money before the people affected by the accident in its decision to reopen the ride tomorrow.

Vicky Balch was one of five passengers seriously injured in the crash on The Smiler last June.

Leah Washington also lost a leg and Joe Pugh, her boyfriend, shattered his knees. Both say they don't want to see the ride operating again. Alton Towers says the accident was caused by human error, and that the Smiler has been certified as safe. Chris Halpin reports.

Alton Towers confirms Smiler to reopen in March

The Smiler rollercoaster has been closed since June last year after a crash injured 16 people. Credit: ITV News Central

Alton Towers has confirmed its flagship roller coaster the Smiler will reopen on March 19.

The controversial ride has been closed since the worst accident in the theme park's history, in which 16 people were injured.

Two female passengers had to go through leg amputations after their carriage collided with a stationary car on the same section of track on the ride at the attraction in Staffordshire on June 2nd.

A subsequent investigation by the park found the accident was caused by 'human error'.

Last week the Health & Safety Executive announced it would be prosecuting the owners of the park, Merlin Entertainments, over the accident last June.

Bosses are due to appear at the North Staffordshire Justice Centre in April.


  1. National

Alton Towers victim has leg amputated after surgery

A student who suffered life-changing injuries in the Alton Towers rollercoaster crash has had her right leg amputated, her lawyers have said.

Victoria Balch. Credit: Facebook

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.

– Paul Paxton, Stewarts Law

Ms Balch is the second of the crash victims to lose a limb; Leah Washington had to have her left leg amputated earlier this month.

Alton Towers crash victim released from hospital

18-year-old Joe Pugh has been discharged from the Royal Stoke University Hospital after being seriously injured in the crash on the Smiler roller coaster.

Joe Pugh suffered two shattered knees in the crash at Alton Towers earlier this month. Credit: ITV News Central

Both of Joe's knees were shattered in the crash as the carriage he was sat in crashed with a test vehicle.

He also suffered injuries to his hand.

Joe's girlfriend Leah Washington (17), who was being treated at the same hospital, needed to have a left leg amputated above the knee after as her crash injuries were so severe.

Alton Towers has already offered temporary relief payments to those injured in the crash. Credit: ITV News Central
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