Second Smiler crash victim has leg amputated

The SmilerA second person seriously injured on the Smiler rollercoaster at Alton Towers has had their leg amputated.

Vicky Balch, 20, was riding the front row of the ride when it collided with an empty train on 2 June.

Following seven operations, her right leg has now been amputated below the knee.

Ms Balch’s lawyer Paul Paxton was quoted by the BBC as saying: “Vicky has had a long and incredibly painful fight to retain her leg. Regrettably, her bravery has not been rewarded.

“The step was taken to remove the leg following seven bouts of surgery. Further surgery will be required in the immediate future, which may involve a more acute amputation.”

17-year-old Leah Washington suffered a leg amputation days after the accident, during which five people suffered serious injuries.

Impact

The ride train’s front railing was impacted against the lower limbs of the four riders sitting in the front row, inflicting severe injuries.

A fifth per suffered severe internal injuries, requiring re-hospitalisation and subsequent surgery.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) served a Prohibition Notice against the ride, preventing its use. It is not known if this has yet been lifted.

Alton Towers’ operator Merlin Entertainments has already released initial compensation to several of the 16 people who were on the ride.

Ride Rater understands that the park will not open the Gerstlauer-manufactured Smiler again this season regardless of HSE enforcement.

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