Alton Towers to pay compensation to seriously-injured Barnsley teenagers

Leah Washington

Leah Washington

0
Have your say

Bosses at Alton Towers have promised to pay compensation to a pair of Barnsley teenagers injured in last week’s horror rollercoaster crash.

Merlin Entertainments, which owns the theme park, has accepted ‘full responsibility’ for the crash on The Smiler ride.

Joe Pugh was injured in the Alton Towers crash. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

Joe Pugh was injured in the Alton Towers crash. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

Leah Washington, who is 17, had her left leg amputated above the knee as a result of the crash, with boyfriend Joe Pugh, 18, breaking both of his knees.

The pair from Barnsley were among the most seriously injured of the 16 people hurt in the crash last Tuesday.

RELATED STORIES:

Barnsley teenager has leg amputated following Alton Towers crash

Signs showing that the Smiler and Oblivion rides remain closed greeted visitors to Alton Towers today

Signs showing that the Smiler and Oblivion rides remain closed greeted visitors to Alton Towers today

MP demands answers from Alton Towers over crash

A Merlin Entertainments spokeswoman said the company had written to the injured and the letters were hand delivered by Alton Towers representatives over the weekend.

She added: “We absolutely recognise what a difficult time this is for everyone, especially those who have been so seriously injured, and we have tried to do this in a way that is both sensitive and appropriate.

“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.

The Smiler ride at Alton Towers Resort in Staffordshire

The Smiler ride at Alton Towers Resort in Staffordshire

“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.

“In addition we have engaged the services of Health and Case Management Ltd (HCML) - a leading firm of specialist independent rehabilitation providers - to provide all of those involved with the best support for their individual needs whether from the NHS or by providing additional support and services. HCML have already made contact with some of those affected in order to progress this.”

The families of Leah, Joe and fellow victim Victoria Balch have issued a statement saying they are pleased there has been a formal admission of liability from the insurer in respect of the damages claim.

Paul Paxton, head of Personal Injury at Stewarts Law, said: “I will be meeting with the solicitors acting for Merlin and its insurers this week to discuss the early release of money to assist with financial hardship and rehabilitation.”

Nick Varney, chief executive of Merlin Entertainments, said yesterday: “We are deeply saddened by the news about Leah and all our thoughts are with her and her family.

“We cannot undo the events of last week but everyone in the company and at Alton Towers is determined to do all we can to provide appropriate support to those who were injured and their families.”

IN OTHER NEWS:

TRENDING: Fears over HSBC job losses in Sheffield

TRENDING: Firefighters battle huge factory blaze next to M1

TRENDING: Arsonists wreak havoc across South Yorkshire

SHEFFIELD UNITED: Set plays are key for Blades says news boss Nigel Adkins

SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Bring on the competition says Kieran Lee