Alton Towers victim who lost leg on Smiler marries friend also injured that day

A couple who were tragically injured in a terrifying rollercoaster accident at Alton Towers nine years ago tied the knot this weekend, surrounded by their loved ones. Leah Washington and Joe Pugh, who shared news of their engagement in March 2022, marked their special day at the picturesque Woodlands Hotel in Leeds.

Leah looked radiant in a beautiful white gown, complemented with a veil and delicate jewellery, and was captured smiling at the camera while holding her bouquet of pristine white roses. Her now-husband Joe looked dapper in a tuxedo and bow tie for the occasion.

Leah and Joe's engagement during a dreamy getaway in Italy two years ago was followed by a period where Leah felt she "drifted apart" from her now-husband Joe as she battled with the aftermath of her catastrophic injuries. The harrowing incident cost 26 year old Leah her leg, while Joe sustained severely shattered kneecaps and two broken fingers.

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Leah recounted that they had only been officially together for a week before the crash occurred, highlighting the strain on their relationship caused by her inability to look after herself.

Exclusive snaps from the ceremony depict the couple sharing laughter and joy with their loved ones, with wedding attendees looking stylish in suits and vibrant dresses. One of the photos captures Leah, hailing from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, enjoying a drink and sharing a smile with her guests at the intimate ceremony, reports the Mirror.

"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," Leah shared with OK! Magazine. At the young ages of 17 and 18, the couple were seated in the front row of the roller coaster when it collided with a stationary carriage at a speed of 50mph.

Leah vividly remembers the crash as the "longest thirty minutes of my life", describing how: "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 recalled asking Joe for his phone to call her mum, to which he responded: "I can't because my finger is hanging off."

Joe, who permanently lost the use of one finger, acknowledged that they had to adjust to a "new normal" due to their injuries, public scrutiny, and the ongoing court case. Sharing a photo of herself and Joe after he proposed, Leah couldn't hide her joy as she flaunted her new engagement ring.

"So this happened yesterday... I SAID YES," she announced.