Father of Barnsley leg amputee teen found out about Alton Towers crash on TV

Leah Washington, injured in the Alton Towers crash
Leah Washington, injured in the Alton Towers crash
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The father of a South Yorkshire Alton Towers crash victim who had to have her leg amputated says he only realised she was on the ride when he saw her on TV.

Leah Washington, aged 17, from Barnsley, was one of five people seriously injured in a crash on the Smiler ride on June 2.

Two carriages crashed on the Smiler ride at Alton Towers. Photo by Helen Critchley

Two carriages crashed on the Smiler ride at Alton Towers. Photo by Helen Critchley

The lawyer representing her family, Paul Paxton, said Leah’s dad made the discovery when he recognised her clothing.

He also said the compensation could run into ‘millions of pounds’.

Merlin Entertainment, which owns Alton Towers, said it had contacted those injured and all 16 on the ride would receive a payout.

IT also said the crash was the first accident in the company’s history.

Mr Paxton, head of the personal injury department at Stewarts Law, said: “Certainly Leah’s father was aware for many an hour that his daughter was on the ride.

“The only comfort, if that’s the right way to put it, was that it wasn’t clear early on the full extent of the injuries.”

Mr Paxton added that the victims were ‘angry’ about the incident and that more questions need to be answered: “They do want to have answers, and actually it may depend on what those answers are in the investigation, because it’s all very well now to say, ‘Now we must move on with our lives’, but if the investigation reveals great holes in terms of the training process, people being flippant with their children’s safety, then I think that anger will reignite.”