One Direction to meet Alton Towers amputee Leah Washington

The teenager is a huge fan of the band

Kashmira Gander
Tuesday 09 June 2015 22:51
Leah Washington was among the four riders seriously injured on a crash on The Smiler at Alton Towers
Leah Washington was among the four riders seriously injured on a crash on The Smiler at Alton Towers

One Direction have offered to meet a teenager whose leg was amputated due to injuries she suffered during a crash on a rollercoaster at Alton Towers.

Leah Washington, 17, was one of four people seriously injured on the Smiler ride, including Joe Pugh, her 18-year-old boyfriend who was treated in hospital for two broken knees and extensive hand injuries.

In an attempt to raise the spirits of the teenager, who has been described as a huge fan of One Direction, people campaigned for the band to contact her by tweeting using #Get1DToLeah

The band, who are currently completing the European leg of their world tour, have filmed a video message for Ms Washington, and said they are happy to meet her when they have finished travelling.

Sara Stuart, who helped to launch the campaign, told BBC News that she had visited Ms Washington at the Royal Stoke Hospital and that the message “would make Leah's day and aid her recovery”.

The band’s agent told BBC News: “Unfortunately because of their schedule they can't visit her in hospital, but they have offered Leah tickets to a forthcoming concert of her choice when she has recovered, and will be delighted to meet her backstage then."

One Direction filmed the message after band member Louis Tomlinson tweeted his well-wishes to Ms Washington on Monday. The post has since been retweeted over 18,000 times with over 26,000 people ‘favouriting’ it.

On Monday, Alton Towers re-opened for the first time since the Smiler crash, and guests were handed free tickets to return to the park before early November, because the area where the ride is situated is closed.

A spokeswoman for Alton Towers told The Independent: "All guests entering the theme park today have been issued with a complimentary theme park ticket to return any time before 6th November 2015.

“We have taken the decision to do this whilst rides in the vicinity of The Smiler remain closed. Due to the ongoing investigation, we do not have details as to how long the area will be unavailable.

Asked whether the park was handing out free tickets because of fears the incident would put off visitors, she added: "The only reason we are offering complimentary tickets is because a small number of rides remain closed."

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