Alton Towers crash: Amputee Leah Washington 'improving' and standing up, her brother says

The 17-year-old had her leg amputated above the knee after The Smiler crash at Alton Towers

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The Independent Online

The 17-year-old girl whose leg was amputated after a ride at Alton Towers crashed is improving day by day, her brother said.

Leah Washington, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, was one of four people seriously injured when the rollercoaster crashed last week, along with her boyfriend Joe Pugh, 18, who is being treated for two broken knees and hand injuries.

Washington, who also suffered a fractured hand, was initially placed in intensive care under heavy sedation, her brother told the BBC, needing machines to help her breathe.

Speaking to BBC WM, Luke Washington said his sister’s “health and spirits have improved dramatically” and that yesterday he saw her standing up.

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Shares in Merlin Entertainments, the owner of Alton Towers, has taken full responsibility for the crash

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Alton Towers has re-opened following the collision of two carriages on the Smiler rollercoaster (Getty)

Washington said his sister was showing a world of difference compared to when she entered hospital last week, and that as each day has gone by she has “improved and improved”.

Washington is a known One Direction fan and an online campaign emerged last week to have the band meet her in order to lift her spirits.

One Direction, who are currently on tour, filmed a message for Washington and have offered her tickets to a concert of her choice, where they will meet her backstage.

Alton Towers re-opened to the public on Monday, offering each customer a complimentary ticket to be used before November this year by way of compensation while a small number of rides, including The Smiler, remain closed.

Merlin Entertainments, which owns Alton Towers, has said it takes full responsibility for the crash and will provide compensation “swiftly and sensitively” to all 16 victims of the tragedy.

Victoria Balch, one of the four who suffered “life-changing” injuries in the crash, underwent further surgery on Sunday, but is not thought to be in a life-threatening condition.

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