Alton Towers injuries include amputation, park admits liability to victims

Posted Wednesday, June 10, 2015 9:24 AM | Contributed by Bobbie1951

A 17-year-old girl injured in a rollercoaster crash at Alton Towers has had her leg amputated, it has emerged. Leah Washington was on the front row of the Smiler ride, which crashed into an empty carriage in front of it. Three others who were also in the front row sustained serious leg injuries, while a fifth person is being treated for internal injuries.

Read more from The BBC.

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Saturday, June 13, 2015 11:53 AM

You describe the company as being proactive, but you don't think being proactive is commendable?

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Saturday, June 13, 2015 2:32 PM

Years ago my neighbor's teenage kid backed into my car. He knocked on my door, owned up to it and said he'd pay for the damage. When I gave him the appraisal he paid me out of pocket for the damage and I got it fixed. Throughout the whole process I could tell he felt horrible about it.

He could have been a dick about the whole thing, or worse yet could have driven off and no one would have been the wiser, leaving me with a hefty repair bill and wondering who F'd me over. Call me crazy, but I found his actions commendable. People make mistakes, are we not supposed to forgive? Especially when they've immediately owned up to them and tried their best to assist in resolving--or at least mitigating--the resulting consequences?

Yeah, a teenage girl lost her leg and several other people are also dealing with severe injuries over someone's negligence. It's tragic, awful, terrible...and nothing the park can do will change the fact that this girl will have to cope with having one less limb than most every other human for the rest of her life. No one is arguing that, despite the fact that you somehow discerned that from the context of my first post. But as Jeff said, when you're conditioned to seeing companies not being proactive, transparent, or owning up to their mistakes in any way (not necessarily because of their "arrogance"; but more often because their lawyers have advised them to do just that), watching a company do the exact opposite is commendable.

If Alton Towers sent the best lawyer in England to represent me as my attorney, I wouldn't be sending them back a thank you card for their thoughtfulness especially after I lost my leg.

No one expects the victims to be writing thank you notes, but great strawman. No one is forming a committee to bestow the park with a gold plaque and shower them with praises and confetti as if the park's owner himself swooped in with a red cape and stopped the trains from colliding, rescuing 16 people from peril. But as a third party uninvolved in any way with this entire situation, save for being a guy who has barely more than a passing interest in amusement parks, I feel justified in offering the park a little insignificant admiration on a message board.

If you disagree, cool.

Last edited by Vater, Saturday, June 13, 2015 2:39 PM
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Saturday, June 13, 2015 3:26 PM

Well, yes. We can all think of situations where the party at fault either shuts up and hides or sits and waits, making any legal procedure difficult at best for the victims to pursue. In this case they came straight forward, which in my book (printed in the good ole U.S.of A.) is commendable.

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Saturday, June 13, 2015 4:41 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong (I admit ignorance regarding law in the US, let alone the UK), but I imagine Alton Towers will be in turn looking for damages from the manufacturer at some point? At least given the issues the ride has had since opening - and now this catastrophe - as an outside observer with limited knowledge that would make sense to me.

Last edited by Capitalize, Saturday, June 13, 2015 4:41 PM
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Saturday, June 13, 2015 4:48 PM

I think that depends. If our speculation is true, it sure smells like a human mistake, not the machine.

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Sunday, June 14, 2015 12:51 PM

Not everything belongs to the ride manufacturer. IIRC, the erectors probably had some culpability in regards to the previous shutdown when the track came apart...

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Sunday, June 14, 2015 5:56 PM

I won't do yet another news item, but here's an article interviewing one of the front seat victims. His girlfriend is the one who lost her leg. The narrative is a bit scary to say the least. I can't imagine being in those seats.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3123056/Our-agony-Smiler-Al...-them.html

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Sunday, June 14, 2015 10:57 PM

I don't know if I missed it before or it wasn't properly reported, but they sat at the top of the lift hill for 20 minutes with an empty train just ahead of them in the way and they were STILL sent down the first hill? That is a bad deal. :/

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Monday, June 15, 2015 12:29 AM

The more I read about this accident, the more horrific is sounds. I will be very interested to hear the details of how this happened. Who, or what is at fault?

The people videoing instead of calling for help may have all just assumed that help was already called. Either that, or the onlookers were in shock.

As tragic as this story is, it could also be considered a great human interest story. It was sweet and heartfelt in some places. I really enjoyed reading about how the couple were trying to get through such a stressful, life-changing situation. I wish them to get well soon.

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Monday, June 15, 2015 3:12 PM

Thinking here is that if the controls shut down a portion of the ride due to a possible block violation, it should take two people to override the computerized system. One person shouldn't be able to make this kind of mistake.

Yes, it might require higher staffing levels, but it's not like those employees are paid vast sums of money, and it likely could have prevented a tragedy like this.

Just a thought...

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