Alton Towers Smiler crash victim Vicky Balch gets 'bionic' leg

Vicky Balch walks through the Good Morning Britain studio with Susanna Reid Image copyright S Meddle/ITV/REX/Shutterstock
Image caption Vicky Balch spoke to presenter Susanna Reid about her new prosthetic on the ITV morning show

A victim of the Alton Towers Smiler crash - who lost her leg in the accident - has said a new "bionic" limb helps her to live a "more normal" life.

Vicky Balch was among five people seriously hurt when two carriages crashed on the rollercoaster last June.

She has since begun using a Genium X3 prosthetic, which uses sensors to adapt to her movements and walking style.

It enabled her to "do normal things that a normal 20-year-old would do", she told ITV's Good Morning Britain.

More on this story and others from Staffordshire

Miss Balch, from Leyland, Lancashire, described the prosthetic, made by German company Otto Bock, as "very clever" and it enabled her to walk and run unaided and cycle.

"It is a lot more natural, I have a lot more energy. I can do a lot more things like go and see my friends," she told The New Day show.

New boyfriend

Miss Balch, who had her right leg amputated below the knee following seven rounds of surgery, said she had "really bad days" during her recovery, including moments when she did not know if she would walk again.

After learning she would get a new prosthetic, Ms Balch signed up to dating app Tinder, where she met her 24-year-old boyfriend Jordan.

"We hadn't been together long when we told each other we love each other," she said. "But Jordan is really sweet and I just feel so comfortable around him. If I'm at home, I'll just take my leg off and sit in my shorts, and he is so laid back about it."

Four other people were seriously injured - including Leah Washington, who also had to have a leg amputated - when their carriage crashed into an empty carriage at the Staffordshire theme park.

Park owner Merlin Entertainments is compensating those involved and said the incident was due to human error. The Health and Safety Executive is prosecuting the firm over the crash later this month.

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