Leah Washington and Joe Pugh, who announced their engagement last month, opened up about the horror crash on The Smiler in 2015 and how her life-changing injuries impacted their relationship
Leah Washington, who lost her leg in 2015 after being seriously injured in a roller coaster accident at Alton Towers, has opened up about how she initially “walked away” from now-fiancé Joe Pugh as she struggled to come to terms with her life-changing injuries To finish .
The couple announced their engagement last month and spoke about the devastating aftermath of the snap on The Smiler, which left Leah, 24, “waking up with most of my left leg missing” and Joe, 25, with shattered kneecaps and two broken fingers.
Leah detailed that they had only been officially dating for a week when the horror crash happened and the difficulties their relationship was facing as she was unable to take care of herself.
“If you had told any of us in the weeks following our horrific accident in Alton Towers that we were planning our wedding, I don’t think we would have believed it,” the influencer said OK! magazine.
The couple, then just 17 and 18 years old, were sitting in the front of their roller coaster when it crashed into a stationary car at 80 km/h.
Recalling the accident as the “longest thirty minutes of my life,” she said, “My legs were pinched between the safety bar and the ride up front, terrified and in excruciating pain, I quickly lost feeling in my left leg.”
Leah said she asked Joe for his phone to call her mom and he replied he couldn’t “because my finger is hanging down.”
Bloomberg via Getty Images)
While Joe was rushed to the adult trauma ward and had casts on his legs and arms, his kneecaps were recovering and he was desperate to get back to his social life, while Leah’s “whole life consisted of physical therapy, hospital appointments, and adjusting to her prosthetic leg”.
He said: “We were the furthest apart, Leah was upset one night because I was going out with friends when we were supposed to be hanging out together. I was still only 19 and didn’t have the emotional maturity to understand how my actions were affecting her.”
Joe, who never used a finger again, said he soon realized there was a “new normal” as they had to adapt to the injuries, the public attention and the court process.
The couple are stronger than ever and announced they got engaged with a sweet Instagram post last month.
Leah posted a photo of herself next to Joe, beaming as she showed off her new engagement ring.
“So that happened yesterday… I SAID YES,” she revealed.
In another snap, Leah said Joe popped the question during a romantic getaway to Italy, showing off her ring finger against a backdrop of Venice.
Joe and Leah had only been out for four days when the horrific accident on The Smiler roller coaster happened.
Last year, the happy couple announced they had bought their first home together after several years together – and shared snaps of their Yorkshire bungalow with fans online.
Since becoming involved in the horrific incident at Alton Towers, Leah has pursued a modeling career – including being named the new face of lingerie brand Pour Moi last year.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/alton-towers-couple-leah-joe-26691366 Alton Towers couple Leah and Joe say they "drifted apart" after the crash but are now engaged