Alton Towers crash victims receive first payouts

Smiler rollercoaster "may never open again"

Alton Towers Re-Opens After 'Smiler' Crash

Alton Towers has made its first payouts to the victims of the Smiler rollercoaster crash.

Stewarts Law, which is acting on behalf of Joe Pugh, 18, Vicky Balch, 20, Leah Washington, 17, and five others, said the payments were released to help with their rehabilitation after two of the ride's carriages collided.

Miss Washington had to have part of her leg amputated and Mr Pugh shattered both knees and suffered hand injuries.

Paul Paxton, Head of Personal Injury at law firm Stewart Law, told ITV News: "The families are satisfied that no expense is being spared in the investigation into what caused the accident on the Smiler ride at Alton Towers."

He met with Health and Safety inspectors who said the ride is likely to remain closed.

Mr Paxton said: "The ride is likely to remain closed for a significant period of time; indeed it may never open again. The families are reassured that every angle is being thoroughly covered."

Miss Washington's lawyer previously said that she could receive a payout worth millions of pounds.

Victim Miss Balch told the BBC she thought she was going to die in the four hours she was trapped on the ride.

She said: "If I was going to survive I would never walk again, that was certain.

"I thought it was never going to end. I just wanted to die."

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