South Yorkshire rollercoaster crash victim releases first photo since losing leg

Leah Washington, 17, lost a leg on June 2 in a horrific crash at Alton Towers but a photo on Facebook shows her up and about and smiling
Leah Washington, 17, lost a leg on June 2 in a horrific crash at Alton Towers but a photo on Facebook shows her up and about and smiling
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A brave South Yorkshire teenager who lost her leg in the horror rollercoaster crash at Alton Towers has posted an inspirational photo of her smiling with her friends and family.

Leah Washington had her left leg amputated above the knee after the tragedy on the Smiler ride at the theme park in Staffordshire on June 2.

Leah Washington, injured in the Alton Towers crash

Leah Washington, injured in the Alton Towers crash

The 17-year-old Barnsley girl was on a date with her boyfriend Joe Pugh, aged 18, also from Barnsley, when their rollercoaster carriage ploughed into the one in front.

Joe suffered shattered knee caps and Leah also suffered a fractured left hand.

Now, just over a month on from the accident, Leah has posted the first photograph of her progress, smiling and supported by a large group of friends and relations.

On her Facebook page, friends commented on the image and said it was inspirational.

The Smiler ride at Alton Towers Resort in Staffordshire

The Smiler ride at Alton Towers Resort in Staffordshire

One wrote: “Glad to see you up and about. Gorgeous photo.”

Another wrote: “What an absolutely fabulous picture, Leah you are an inspiration to us all.”

Last month, the parents of Leah and of Joe spoke out to thank well-wishers for their support.

David Washington, Leah’s father, said: “We would like to thank our family and friends and all the well-wishers for their support.

“Leah has suffered a life-changing injury and now has many months of rehabilitation ahead of her.

“We have done this to put people’s minds at rest and we would also ask everyone to respect Leah’s privacy as she undergoes this rehabilitation.

“We would like to thank all the emergency services at the scene and all the hospital staff who saved Leah’s life.”

Simon Pugh, Joe’s father, said: “I would like to thank our friends and family for their support.

“We would also like to thank the staff at the hospital who have been very accommodating, have been lovely to us and have protected our privacy.

“We would ask people to respect Joe’s privacy now and over the weeks and months ahead.”

Another young woman, Vicky Balch, 20, from Lancashire, also lost a leg following the collision. Daniel Thorpe, 27, a hotel manager from Buxton in Derbyshire, was treated for a collapsed lung and fractured leg.