Vandals used knives to poison woman riding in Wild West trestle

In much of the West Country, it’s an everyday sight – a donkey grazing lazily on the tracks. By day, it’s an attractive, lingering sight. But at night, standing atop them, riders ride one…

Vandals used knives to poison woman riding in Wild West trestle

In much of the West Country, it’s an everyday sight – a donkey grazing lazily on the tracks.

By day, it’s an attractive, lingering sight.

But at night, standing atop them, riders ride one of Britain’s last remaining Wild West-style railway trestles, its electrified locomotives speeding underneath the delicate steel lattice.

And in the night the Wild West image slips under the rails, because two of the animals have been poisoned – one fatally.

Safely away from tramlines and tracks, the pair remains silhouetted through lights in the distance – one in deep mourning for its mate; the other chasing light after it.

Related Image Expand / Contract (Reuters)

That is because on Wednesday night, when the other was poisoned, two men tried to set fire to the damsel in distress – by hook or by crook.

“Three intoxicated men who had been in a pub let their emotions take over and then tried to set fire to her,” Detective Inspector John Bennett of the Avon and Somerset Police told the Telegraph.

One was found dead at the scene, and the men were detained nearby. Another, in “a distressed state” when arrested, tried to throttle a police officer before lying unconscious on the pavement, according to The Telegraph.

Related Image Expand / Contract (Reuters)

The mystery, however, remained to be solved.

According to police, a man and woman tried to set fire to the trestle – causing sparks, which got too close to the trestle, which’s valued at hundreds of thousands of pounds. The chemical reaction caused a blaze, engulfing the machine and the men who were working beneath it – causing them to quickly succumb to burns.

The 18th century structure is one of only two remaining Wild West trestles in Britain. The one destroyed Wednesday was built by soldiers following the First World War.

On a rail-back, it sits 200 feet above the track on farmland about 45 miles west of London – providing a journey that previously took five hours by train, winding its way through the countryside to the nearest town.

As The Telegraph notes, two more Wild West trestles have been destroyed in recent years – one following a drug plot in 2001 and another in August because of an armed robbery.

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