'Money Won’t Bring My Leg Back’ Says Alton Towers Crash Victim

Merlin Attractions was fined £5m for the crash

05/10/2016 14:22 | Updated 06 October 2016

A young woman who was left an amputee after the £18m rollercoaster she was on crashed, is in the process of securing compensation from the operators.

Vicky Balch was one of two people to lose limbs when their car on the Smiler ride at Alton Towers smashed into an empty carriage with the same impact of a 1.5 tonne family car crashing at 90mph.

Then 19, Balch and Leah Washington, 17, each lost a leg, while Joe Pugh, 19, broke his knee caps in the accident in June last year. 

Vicky Balch on ITV's Good Morning Britain 

Daniel Thorpe, 27, suffered a collapsed lung and leg injuries and Chanda Chauhan, 49, received internal injuries.

Last month the theme park operator Merlin Attractions was fined £5m at Stafford Crown Court after admitting health and safety breaches.

Speaking for the first time since the judgement was handed down, Balch told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “I don’t think it will make a difference how much [the size of the fine is].

Fabio De Paola/PA Wire
Alton Towers operator Merlin Entertainments was fined £5m after admitting health and safety breaches 

She added: “It’s not a lot of money to them – even £10m wouldn’t have been a difference – but as long as they’re making those changes to make sure the rides are safe I’m not bothered.”

Securing compensation on behalf of those injured in the crash is likely to take a number of years.

When asked by Piers Morgan if she was motivated by money, she replied: “No amount of money is ever going to bring my leg back.”

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