Second student involved in Alton Towers crash remains in hospital

She’s at Derby University

The family of a 20-year-old girl who is still in hospital after The Smiler crash have said they will sue Alton Towers for “substantial” damages.

Vicky Balch, who studies at the University of Derby, suffered heavy bleeding and leg injuries, and is in a critical condition. She was set to celebrate her birthday today on holiday in Spain.

She was on the front row with her boyfriend – who has a fractured leg and a punctured lung – next to fresher Joe Pugh and his girlfriend, who were on their first date.

Vicky’s family now anticipate “there will be a substantial claim for damages for Victoria” after Tuesday’s horrific crash.

Vicky is still in hospital (credit: Mirror Online)

Vicky is still in hospital (credit: Mirror Online)

Stewarts Law partner Paul Paxton told the Mirror Online: “While it is anticipated there will be a substantial claim for damages to support Victoria in her recovery, the main focus at present for the family is Victoria’s well-being and ensuring the investigation into the accident is carried out swiftly and vigorously.

“They have every confidence in the police and the Health and Safety Executive.

“It is expected serious consideration will be given to criminal prosecutions.

“The family are distraught a fun day out could turn into such a potentially life-changing disaster.”

Vicky-Balch

Vicky is a dancer (credit: Mirror Online)

Vicky, who is supposed to be celebrating her 20th birthday today in Spain, remains at Royal Stoke Hospital where she was airlifted.

Her worried gran, Lilian Cotton, said surgeons managed to save the dancer’s legs.

She told The Sun: “We’re hoping for the best. Vicky was on the front.

“We are lucky they weren’t going the full 53mph.

“It’s her birthday on Saturday. She had booked to go to Tenerife with her friends. It’s such a shame.”

Vicky's boyfriend Daniel punctured his lung

Vicky’s boyfriend Daniel punctured his lung

Her boyfriend Daniel Thorpe – who had only recently met Vicky – told relatives he thought he was a “goner” as they were left dangling in the air for over two hours.

He is still in Coventry Hospital after fracturing his leg and puncturing a lung.

The couple were on the front row next to 18-year-old Joe Pugh and his girlfriend Leah Washington, who were on their first official date.

All four suffered catastrophic injuries: Joe is thought to have broken both his legs.

Joe Pugh broke both his legs

Joe Pugh broke both his legs

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Alton Towers remains closed today for the fourth day running, and Merlin Entertainment – who own Alton Towers – have also shut four rides at three of its themeparks across the country.

The Saw ride at Thorpe Park and The Smiler at Alton Towers will be shut “for the foreseeable future”.

However, Alton Towers is expected to re-open in the next few days.

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The Tab alton towers alton towers crash daniel thorpe joe pugh leah washington the smiler thorpe park university of derby vicky balch