Alton Towers Smiler crash survivors Leah Washington and Joe Pugh celebrate wedding

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Leah Washington and Joe Pugh, a couple who suffered tragic injuries in a horrific rollercoaster crash at Alton Towers nine years ago, have finally said 'I do' this weekend. The pair, who announced their engagement back in March 2022, celebrated their love at the scenic Woodlands Hotel in Leeds.

The bride, Leah, was a vision in white, donning an exquisite gown with a veil and subtle jewellery, clutching a bouquet of flawless white roses as she beamed for the camera. Joe, her partner, cut a sharp figure in his tuxedo and bow tie.

Their road to matrimony wasn't without its challenges; after getting engaged on a romantic trip to Italy two years prior, Leah admitted to feeling "drifted apart" from Joe while grappling with the life-changing effects of her injuries. The devastating accident resulted in Leah, now 26, losing her leg, and Joe suffering crushed kneecaps and two broken fingers.

Leah has spoken about the early days of their relationship, revealing they had been together for just a week before the accident, which put immense pressure on them due to her newfound dependence on others for care.

The exclusive wedding photos show the couple basking in happiness and laughter amongst family and friends, all smartly dressed for the occasion. One particular image shows Leah, originally from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, enjoying a beverage and smiling with guests during the intimate celebration, as reported by the Mirror, reports Birmingham Live.

Leah reminisced about the aftermath of their disturbing Alton Towers incident with OK!

Magazine, stating, "If you'd told either of us during the weeks that followed our horrific accident at Alton Towers that we'd be planning our wedding now, I don't think we'd have believed it,".

At just 17 and 18 years old, Leah and Joe found themselves in a catastrophic situation when they were seated front-row in a rollercoaster that collided with an unmoving carriage at an alarming speed of 50mph.

Leah's recollection of the terrifying event was quite vivid as she shared, "My legs were caught between the safety bar and the ride in front, terrified and in excruciating pain, I was quickly losing sensation in my left leg."

She further recounted how she requested Joe's mobile to phone her mother, but he said, "I can't because my finger is hanging off."

Joe, carrying on from the catastrophe with one digit permanently paralyzed, admitted adjusting to a "new normal" including their physical wounds, societal scrutiny, and the ongoing legal case. The pair appeared overjoyed as Leah exhibited her fresh engagement ring in a photo shared after Joe's proposal.

Her ecstatic announcement read, "So this happened yesterday... I SAID YES,".

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