Leyland woman injured in Alton Towers roller coaster crash to sue park's owners

A Leyland woman who lost her leg after a crash on a ride at Alton Towers is suing the park's owners.

Wednesday, 19th September 2018, 7:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th September 2018, 10:53 pm
Vicky Balch, right, and her mother Karen
Vicky Balch, right, and her mother Karen

Vicky Balch, 23, was in the front seat of The Smiler when the ride crashed into a stationary carriage in June 2015.

She and another woman, Leah Washington, 20, from Barnsley, suffered severe leg injuries and needed partial amputations.

Both women are now suing Merlin Attractions Operations Ltd for negligence and/or breach of statutory duty, The Mirror reported yesterday.

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It has been reported that both women could receive "well in excess of £2m" in compensation if their High Court claim is successful.

Merlin Attractions previously accepted responsibility for the crash after carrying out its own internal investigation following the incident. The company was fined £5m in September 2016 after admitting to breaching the Health and Safety Act.

Speaking on the Victoria Derbyshire programme on BBC News two months after the incident, Ms Balch described how the pain she suffered in the crash caused her to lose consciousness.

She said: "The pain was immeasurable. It hurt so much that as I’m talking about it I can feel how it felt then and it was horrible.

“I realised that the top half of me was okay, but then I had to consider what had happened to the bottom half of me and I never thought I would walk again with my legs.

“My jeans were ripped and there was just blood pouring out and I could see it dripping the entire time."

Two other women who were also hurt in the crash - Meera Chauhan, 52, and her daughter Vanisha Singh, 33, from Walsall - are believed to be preparing their own legal battle.