Barnsley Alton Towers victim ‘angry’ with theme park

Joe Pugh, injured in the Alton Towers crash
Joe Pugh, injured in the Alton Towers crash
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A Barnsley man who suffered two broken knees has said that Alton Towers should have known there was something wrong with the ride.

Joe Pugh’s girlfriend Leah Washington, 17, had her leg amputated after The Smiler ride crash.

Leah Washington has suffered an amputation above the left knee after the accident at Alton Towers. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

Leah Washington has suffered an amputation above the left knee after the accident at Alton Towers. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

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.

The them park closed for six days after the incident.

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.”

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 added that it was his fourth time on the Smiler ride, which was the first rollercoaster he had been on.

He has said he will 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 there was a 20-minute delay as the rollercoaster paused on one of the loops.

The carriage was stuck at an angle of 45 degrees.

“We couldn’t believe what we were seeing,” he said.