Young Couple Shares Wild Early Date, Love Story Involving Scary Rollercoaster Crash At Theme Park

The Smiler approaching the lift hill.
(Image credit: Alton Towers)

Major theme parks are no stranger to moments of romance; just ask anyone who's tried (and sometimes failed) to get engaged at Disney World. In the case of Leah Washington and Joe Pugh, such a setting did contribute to their overall love story, though not as you'd expect. After a scary rollercoaster crash that took place a month into their relationship, the couple's lives were changed forever. Conquering major obstacles in their life together as a result, Leah and Joe have added a new chapter to their love story, by getting engaged. 

As recapped by The Guardian, Washington and Pugh were involved in a rollercoaster crash at UK theme park Alton Towers back in 2015. On an early date in their courtship, the pair were part of an accident involving The Smiler that saw their train colliding at 90 mph with another train that was stopped. Several people were seriously injured in the incident, including both Joe Pugh and Leah Washington, with Leah actually losing a leg to an above the knee amputation as a result.

Seven years later, the couple has recently gotten engaged to be married. On a recent vacation, Pugh proposed to Washington, and she accepted; which is already an improvement from the stories we've heard about Disney World proposals that didn’t go as planned. As Leah Washington credited her now-fiancé as a vital part of her recovery process from that horrific incident, it’s no wonder these young lovers have been together for so long. 

We never do know what life will throw our way, both in romance and any other circumstance you could possibly dream up. Theme parks are a part of that wide playing field of fate, as a random waver at Disneyland could become your significant other. While Leah Washington and Joe Pugh’s love story had started shortly before their unfortunate accident, the relationship that bloomed in the wake of adversity is as strong as ever. You can see that for yourself, courtesy of Leah's Instagram update announcing the joyous occasion: 

Some would say that theme parks count as a romantic destination, as Universal Studios showed when hyping itself up for Valentine’s Day. As their story is now making news in a positive way, one will have to wonder if we’ll hear any updates about where the couple will be married, or even where they could honeymoon. If Joe and Leah are up for it, maybe they could head to Disney World, as the Magic Kingdom looks lovely when emptied out for a wedding party. It would certainly make for a fairy tale moment that shows just how far they've come together. 

We here at CinemaBlend would like to congratulate Leah Washington and Joe Pugh on their recent engagement. Though there were hardships along the way, their dedication looks like something a respectful dramatic entry into the romantic canon of Netflix movies could tackle. Whatever happens next, so long as they're together, anything seems possible. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.