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Vicky Balch has leg amputated

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Updated: 00:00 GMT, Jan 1, 1970 | Published: 04:49 GMT, Jun 27, 2015 |
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Vicky Balch, from Lancashire, had her right leg amputated below the knee following seven rounds of surgery. She was injured when the theme park’s Smiler ride crashed into an empty carriage in front of it on 2 June. Days after the crash, it emerged that Leah Washington, 17, had to have a leg amputated above the knee. Other riders sustained serious leg injuries.

Miss Balch’s lawyer Paul Paxton said: “Vicky has had a long and incredibly painful fight to retain her leg. Regrettably, her bravery has not been rewarded. “The step was taken to remove the leg following seven bouts of surgery. Further surgery will be required in the immediate future, which may involve a more acute amputation.” Miss Balch, from Leyland, was sitting in the front of the ride alongside Miss Washington, Joe Pugh and Daniel Thorpe, when it hit an empty carriage.

Miss Balch has spoken of her ordeal, saying she thought she was going to die. “It felt like slow motion. We banged into the car in front. I felt the bars go into my knees; we moved backwards and the car went into us again,” she told the British leading media. “I passed out. I was awoken by Dan shouting my name. Everyone was screaming and I was in excruciating pain. I looked down and I could see blood all over. The bars were in my right knee. “The only thought that was going through my mind for the hours and hours that we were stuck was that we were going to die. 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.” A total of 16 people were injured in the collision. Eight of the victims have received interim payments to help with their rehabilitation, according to the law firm representing them. Merlin Entertainment, which owns Alton Towers, has said it has contacted those injured and all 16 will receive compensation.