First Payouts To Alton Towers Smiler Crash Victims

20 June 2015, 06:14

The "Smiler" Roller Coaster at Alton Towers.

Lawyers for the victims of the Alton Towers rollercoaster crash say they've been given some money already to help with their rehabilitation.

27-year-old Daniel Thorpe from Buxton suffered a broken leg and collapsed lung and was released from hospital earlier this week.

He was one of the four on the front row of the Smiler ride when it hit an empty carriage.

Stewarts Law is acting on behalf of Joe Pugh, 18, Vicky Balch, 20, 17-year-old Leah Washington, and five others.

Miss Washington had to have a leg amputated after the crash on June 2, and in an earlier statement, her lawyer said she could receive a payout worth millions.

Paul Paxton, head of personal injury at Stewarts Law, and the families of those affected also met the Health and Safety Inspectorate.

Referring to this, Mr Paxton said: "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.

"The Health and Safety Inspectorate made it clear that the requisite multi-disciplinary expertise was in place.

"The families are reassured that every angle is being thoroughly covered.''

Miss Balch, from Lancashire, was sitting in the front seats alongside Miss Washington, her boyfriend Mr Pugh - who shattered a knee, and Daniel Thorpe, 27, a hotel assistant-manager from Buxton in Derbyshire who was treated for a collapsed lung and fractured leg.

Chandaben Chauhan, 49, of Wednesbury, West Midlands, also suffered injuries.

Merlin Entertainments is thought to have racked up losses of around £500,000 a day while the theme park was closed in the immediate aftermath of the incident.

It has also faced accusations that staff dithered for 10 minutes before making the first 999 call, despite screams of distress from bloodied passengers on board The Smiler.

A total of 16 people were injured when the carriage they were in collided with an empty one that had come to a halt on the track ahead of them.

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