Alton Towers crash victim upset at ride reopening

The Smiler ride PHOTO: PA
The Smiler ride PHOTO: PA
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One of the victims of the Smiler rollercoaster crash has said he would have preferred the ride to remain closed.

Joe Pugh was speaking on the eve of the ride reopening for the new season at Alton Towers.

Mr Pugh, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, then aged 18, was in the front carriage with his girlfriend Leah Washington, then 17, when it smashed into another car at the Staffordshire theme park last June in an accident which injured 16 people.

Leyland woman Vicky Balch was also injured and had to have a leg amputated.

Mr Pugh told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “I think it would have been a bit unrealistic if we had both said ‘I don’t think it’s ever going to reopen again’ because it always was going to, but if people choose to go on it that’s up to them.

“Seeing it go round, it’s not something that I want to see. I would have preferred for it to be closed.”

Speaking about how he had been coping emotionally in the nine months since the accident, he said: “I think we have been better than people probably expect, (we are) just trying to keep positive all the time and actually realising how far we’ve come and how well we have actually done.”

Mr Pugh was left with life-changing injuries after both his kneecaps were shattered, while Ms Washington also had a leg amputated

Merlin is due in court in April.