Barnsley Alton Towers crash victim Leah Washington hands rescuers Pride of Britain award

Leah Washington , injured in the Alton Towers crash
Leah Washington , injured in the Alton Towers crash
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A Barnsley youngster who lost her leg in a rollercoaster crash are among those who will collect or hand out Pride of Britain awards tonight.

The live awards ceremony, broadcasting from 8pm to 10pm on ITV1, is an annual awards ceremony to ‘honour the UK’s unsung heroes’.

Leah Washington, who lost her leg after a crash on The Smiler in Alton Towers, was on hand to give an award to the three men who helped save her.

Army doctor Major David Cooper and aircrew paramedic Tom Waters were on duty with Midlands Air Ambulance when they were called to the theme park after a collision between two trains on the Smiler ride which left four people seriously injured.

Dr Ben Clark, a volunteer with North Staffordshire BASICS emergency doctors, was also part of the emergency response team.

The three said they saw blood dripping from the rollercoaster when they arrived on scene.

They did not have the proper health and safety training to climb the ride but they defied orders from a senior commander to effect a rescue regardless - which saved at least two lives.

Jimmy Carr said: “You literally went above and beyond the call of duty.”

Richard Hammond added: “None of us expect to need you guys but one day we do and we are so glad there are real live heroes like you.”

Leah Washington took to the stage along with her boyfriend Joe Pugh to help hand over the award.

Joe said: “We can’t thank you enough for what you have done,” before breaking down in tears.

A Sheffield man was also a finalist in the awards.

John Price, aged 61, who was treated at Weston Park Hospital, was told he had terminal cancer in 2001.

He was put on a clinical trial at the hospital with drugs that boosted his immune system.

The treatment, which cost £100,000, turned out to be a life saver, as John responded well and was able to see his children grow up.

When John found out the cost he vowed to effectively pay it back to the Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity for saving his life.

He raised the massive sum primarily through organising charity golf days.

John has been shortlisted in the charity fundraiser category of the Pride of Britain awards.

Mr Price said: “I’m so thrilled to be a finalist for Pride of Britain and honoured to have been nominated by the cancer charity.”