Alton Towers crash victim Daniel Thorpe looking forward to 'getting better and getting home'

The 27-year-old is in hospital being treated for leg injuries after The Smiler accident

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The Independent Online

One of the men injured in the Alton Towers crash has spoken from hospital to thank everyone for their support.

Daniel Thorpe, 27, was in the front row of The Smiler on a date with his girlfriend when the carriage they were travelling in smashed into an empty cart at 20mph last week.

Doctors at University Hospital Coventry, where he is being treated for lower leg injuries, said he is in a “stable" condition.

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An image from the scene showing one of the Smiler's crashed carriages

Mr Thorpe said: “I would like to thank everyone for their support which has been a great comfort to me at this time.

“In particular the emergency services, doctors, nurses and the rest of the team who have been looking after me and my family during this time have been fantastic.

“I’m now looking forward to getting better, getting home and getting back to normal.”

Mr Thorpe, an assistant hotel manager from Buxton in Derbyshire, was with his 20-year-old girlfriend Vicky Balch at the time.

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Vicky Balch was one of four people seriously injured in the crash

Her solicitor said she suffered potentially life-changing injuries and is expected to make a “substantial claim for damages” to support her recovery.

Ms Balch is being treated at the Royal Stoke University Hospital, alongside teenage couple Leah Washington and Joe Pugh.

Leah, 17, had to have her left leg amputated above the knee because of the extent of her injuries and her brother said yesterday that she was put in intensive care on a life support machine immediately after the crash.

Luke Washington told BBC RM radio that his sister was having a “rapid recovery”.

"Compared to last week when I got to hospital and saw her for the first time, it's a world of difference,” he added.

"It's amazing to see her. It was yesterday I walked into the room for the first time that day and she was stood up. To see her from the condition she was in to now being stood up is great."

After One Direction fans alerted the band that Leah was a fan, they planned to send her a recorded video message and backstage concert tickets.

Her 18-year-old boyfriend, Joe Pugh, was treated for two broken knees and extensive hand injuries, University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust said.

Alton Towers has reopened but investigations continue into the crash on 2 June, which came minutes after people queuing for The Smiler were told the rollercoaster was having “technical difficulties”.

Additional reporting by PA

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