Woman who was killed by a train packed with Cheltenham Festival racegoers ‘had gone onto the tracks to rescue her dog, witnesses say
- A woman died on Tuesday trying to get her dog off train track in Purton, Wiltshire
- Her pet ran on the line and was at risk of being struck by the oncoming train
- The special coach from Paddington station was bound for Cheltenham Festival
- Friends paid tribute to the woman’s bravery in helping to rescue the dog
A woman struck by a train packed with hundreds of people travelling to the Cheltenham Festival died in an effort to catch her dog which had strayed on to tracks, it was claimed today.
The ‘special’ 8.02am service from London Paddington to Cheltenham Spa was carrying around 350 passengers to the races on Tuesday, March 15.
But tragedy struck moments after the train left Swindon Railway Station at around 9am. Witnesses said a woman accessed the tracks near a level crossing in Purton, Wiltshire, in a bid to save her dog.
It is believed her pet ran onto the line and was at risk of being hit by a train but luckily it emerged unharmed from the incident.
Sources say in a frantic bid to gain control of her dog, she rushed out onto the tracks – where she was fatally struck by the Great Western Railway service.
Friends later took to social media to praise the woman’s bravery in helping the dog after it made its escape, calling her an ‘angel’ and a ‘beautiful soul’.
The tragic accident took place near the Collins Lane crossing at Purton, Wiltshire, as the woman sought to free her dog which she thought was stuck on the tracks
The train was one of many extra services put on to transport people to the popular Cheltenham Festival this week.
Emergency services were called to the scene, but paramedics pronounced the casualty dead at the scene.
The line was closed until 11.30pm, with services diverted away from the area.
The train involved in the incident returned back to Swindon Railway Station at around 11am, leaving passengers delayed on their journey by at least two hours.
The train reportedly sustained ‘significant damage’ in the collision.
Friends later took to social media to praise the woman’s bravery in helping the dog after it made its escape, calling her an ‘angel’ and a ‘beautiful soul’
An investigation, led by the British Transport Police (BTP) and supported by Wiltshire Police, was carried out and officers swiftly concluded that there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.
A statement was released by BTP shortly after the incident.
It read: ‘Officers were called to the line near Swindon at 9.07am this morning (15 March) following reports of a casualty on the tracks.
‘Paramedics also attended, however sadly a person was pronounced dead at the scene.
‘This incident is not being treated as suspicious and a file will be prepared for the coroner.’