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Dublin: 3 °C Thursday 17 January, 2019
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"I started to feel pain and I couldn't feel my toes." - Teenager describes Alton Towers crash

Leah Washington’s leg was amputated after the crash.

Source: This Morning/YouTube

AN 18-YEAR-OLD girl has given her first TV interview after losing her leg in the Alton Towers rollercoaster crash.

Speaking to ITV’s This Morning, Leah Washington says she was at the park with her boyfriend Joe Pugh when they were seated up at the front of The Smiler ride.

“We queued for an hour and a half. They put us up front, me and Joe got to sit up the front and we were quite excited.”

“And then we sat down, put safety bars on, sat for five minutes and then we had to get off because there were technical difficulties. Then we waited for half an hour and got back on.”

She explains that the problems with the ride didn’t unduly worry them because such issues happen regularly at theme parks across the world.

“It set off and it was fine, then we got to the first hill and it got stuck at the top. Me and Joe were like, this isn’t right, we should be getting off. It said over the tannoy that we are experiencing technical difficulties and then it set off without any warning.”

“It were fine, we were going around loops and everything and then we just came around the corner and I saw a cart and I were like ‘Oh God, this is ain’t good’, and we just crashed into it.”

Washington’s left leg was terribly injured in the crash, she says that surgeon later told her that he thought her leg could “come off in his hand, it was that severed”.

She was concious during the four hours after the crash in which they were trapped. She describes the aftermath:

I started to feel pain and I couldn’t feel my toes. So I started to panic and looked down at my leg and all my left leg was pushed up.

I just couldn’t fee my toes, I was trying to wiggle them and the sensation just wasn’t there.

She says she wasn’t feeling much pain and remained concious but the aesthetic gas being given to her by paramedics meant she was not fully there. She lost a lot of blood and was given a blood transfusion at the scene.

“I can remember trying to talk to people and asking them if I were alright but I don’t remember much,” she says. “After they gave me gas and air I was out of it.”

Her leg was amputated immediately when she was taken to hospital and she remembers waking up afterwards.

“I can remember waking up and all my family were stood around me. The doctor told me that I woke up crying and screaming ‘look tell me, tell me’. I already had an idea of what happened.”

The teenager also spoke about her recovery saying that she hasn’t really come to terms with it yet.

“It’s hard thinking about what’s ahead, I’ve got lots of physio to go through and learning to walk again.”

Read: ‘I’ll have a different life’: Young woman who lost her leg on rollercoaster speaks out >

Read: Teenage Alton Towers crash victim has leg amputated >

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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