Fighting spirit: Chloe Jones, 20, is determined to be a positive role model for amputees after losing her own leg. The student from York won the Charity section of a local beauty pageant
A student who suffered devastating injuries in a hit-and-run car accident has made history by becoming Miss England'sfirst amputee beauty queen.
Chloe Jones, 20, lost her leg when a van rear-ended a taxi, sending the out-of-control car flying towards her as she walked home from lectures with a friend.
The taxi pinned her up against a wall, almost completely severing her left leg below the knee and no one has ever been caught for causing the smash.
In an instant, Chloe's carefree life as a textiles student at Nottingham Trent University had been turned upside down and she now faced an uncertain future with a serious disability.
But within two months, she was out of her hospital bed and back at university where she soon realised there was a severe lack of amputee role models for people like herself.
Her only option was to become one - literally.
Chloe, from York, said: 'When I was in hospital I was watching Heather Mills on Dancing On Ice and I realised just how few role models for disabled people there are out there.
'You never see models or people in the media with disabilities or amputations, and watching her made me realise that yes, I can still do these things.
'I told a friend how I was fed up and considering entering a beauty contest and she pointed out the Miss Nottingham competition was about to start.
'Before the accident, I would never have even considered entering a beauty pageant. But I sent in my pictures, and to my amazement I made it to the final.'
Chloe was shortlisted with 29 other girls at a local audition and was the only one to enter it in a wheelchair.
Wearing a long pink dress, she took part in all the choreography with the help of her fellow entrants.
Her efforts impressed judges so much they created a special category for her, crowning her Miss Charity for her fundraising efforts.
Through sponsorship and donations she managed to raise £1,300 for her local hospice for the charity element of the competition, more than any of the other contestants.
Now, Chloe is on the GB Sitting Volleyball squad and entering her final year at college.
She said: 'When the accident happened last November I was walking back from college with my housemate, Georgia.
'There was a van in front of us by the junction and it just went straight into the back of this taxi, which lost control, mounted the kerb, and smashed me straight into the wall.
'It hit the bonnet and the car bounced off, causing me to slip down between the car and the wall.
'I thought I had broken my leg but when I looked down I could see it was hardly attached anymore. It was hanging on by a thread.
'I grabbed hold of Georgia and said to her: 'Whatever you do, don't look at my leg.' People were standing around and staring but nobody seemed to be helping me.
'Eventually a woman got out of a taxi and started grabbing things off people, like scarves and ties, to stop the bloodflow.
'I was in a state of complete shock, but at the same time I was still rational. I knew there was no way my leg would be saved.
'When I got to hospital, I was rushed into surgery and when I woke up my leg was gone.
'In the end, I was glad I was conscious throughout the whole thing. At least I wasn't expecting the doctors to be able to save my leg, rather than just waking up without it.
'When I first woke up, it was a really strange sensation because you get phantom limb syndrome - you can still feel your leg, even though you know it's not there.
'After that, it was just a case of getting on with things. I watched a lot of DVDs and people brought my sketchbooks in so I could study in hospital.
'All I could think about was how I was going to carry on doing the things I did before and how I would adapt. If anyone ever told me, "You know you won't be able to do this and that anymore, don't you?" it just made me more determined.
'There was never a moment when I felt sorry for myself. I knew I just had to get on with it.
'Sure, there was moments when I cried and hated the world, but who doesn't have those when they are stressed? I was no different just because I had lost my leg.
Brave: Chloe, from York, was back at university within two months of her accident. During her time in hospital she was inspired by watching fellow amputee Heather Mills on Dancing On Ice and has vowed to make the most of her ordeal and be happy every day
'When I came out of hospital I promised myself every day I would be happy and make the most of it.
'I'm not going to waste one moment thinking about the man that caused the accident that day.
'He has taken enough from me and he is not going to take away my personality and myself.
'Now I'm just concentrating on my volleyball and my studies and I have rehab twice a week, training on a prosthetic leg. I can't wait to get it permanently - I will probably have a party.'
Miss England organiser Angie Beasley met Chloe at the Miss Nottingham final earlier this year.
She said: 'Chloe is a very brave girl to get up on stage after what she has been through.
'I've been organising contests for Miss World for over 20 years and as far as I know there have been no other girls who have gone through amputation who have entered the contest. She is the first.
'I was worried how she would feel in front of an audience, but she was extremely confident on the catwalk in her wheelchair.
'She took part in a choreograph routine along with the other girls and shone on stage.
'She was totally confident and looked absolutely fabulous. She deserves to be recognised.
'She won the Miss Charity Nottingham award as she was the top fundraiser in the contest and was presented with the title on stage.
'Chloe was in every way a very memorable contestant and I wish her all the very best. I hope she will enter again next year.'
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