Every time we step onto a rollercoaster and start that suspense-filled ascent, we blindly place our safety in the hands of strangers. Sometimes it's easy to forget just how dangerous these rides can be.
Unfortunately, we were starkly reminded last week when tragedy struck at the British amusement park Alton Towers. A horrific collision of steel and flesh left four thrill seekers in critical condition. Further details have emerged regarding the state of the crash victims, and it's not good news...
17-year-old Leah Washington was enjoying a thrilling day out with her boyfriend Joe Pugh, before a fateful ride on 'The Smiler' left both of them with severe injuries. Washington has since had to have her leg amputated above the knee, leaving her and her family devastated.
The young teen will never walk with her own two feet again, this traumatic 3-minute rollercoaster ride having had life-changing consequences. Leah now faces many months of recovery, during which her father has asked to be left in peace:
We would ask everyone to respect Leah’s privacy as she undergoes this rehabilitation.
Leah's boyfriend, 18-year-old Joe Pugh, is still in the hospital and is being treated for two broken knees.
Alton Towers has taken full responsibility for the terrible incident and has written to all 16 of those injured. Part of the letter read:
Irrespective of the outcome of the current investigations into the causes of the accident, in these letters we have accepted full responsibility to those who had been injured in the accident and confirmed that we will ensure that compensation will be provided to them.
We have recommended each of the injured guests or their families instruct a lawyer and submit a claim for compensation which we will ensure is dealt with swiftly and sensitively.
The victims have been quick to seek legal representation, as advised, with their lawyers stating they were 'pleased' with the company's admission of fault.
While the victims most certainly deserve compensation for their traumatic ordeal, no amount of money is ever going to bring back Leah's leg.
I just hope the park's new security procedures will prevent anything like this from ever happening again.
[Source: BBC News]