A MAN has died after being hit by a bin lorry on a busy city street in Inverness.
The horrific accident involving a man in his 20s happened near a pedestrian crossing outside the Town Hall at 7.30am this morning.
Police immediately sealed off the area and an accident investigation team carried out detailed enquiries.
It is understood that the lorry involved in the incident belongs to Ross-shire based Northern Recycling and that the driver suffered no injuries.
Early morning commuters and passers-by saw the body lying covered by a white plastic sheet before it was removed shortly after 9.30am.
The news of the fatality comes after six people died when a bin lorry went out of control in Glasgow city centre at 2.30pm on December 22.
It careered 300 metres along Queen Street before crashing into the side of the Millennium Hotel in George Square.
This latest incident occurred as Inverness prepares for its annual big New Year Party which is expected to see thousands of revellers take to the streets.
A warm up event for kids entitled the Wee Hot Highland Fling was cancelled as a result of the fatality.
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The street celebration, organised by Highland Council, was to be held at the Town Hall at midday but was cancelled when organisers heard of the tragedy.
However city leaders took the decision that the larger Red Hot Highland Fling featuring singer Julie Fowlis, folk band Manran and Red Hot Chilli Pipers plus a spectacular fireworks display to bring in the New Year would go ahead as planned.
Donnie Kerr, Highland councillor for the city centre was on the scene.
He said: “It is a horrific accident and particularly so happening on the last day of the year.”
Road closures included Bridge Street, Castle Wynd and Church Street - police reopened Inverness city centre at mid-day yesterday.
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “Emergency services attended at the scene of the collision which involved a refuse collection lorry and a pedestrian. Police can now confirm that sadly, the pedestrian died at the scene as a result of his injuries.
“The driver of the lorry was not injured and did not require medical attention.”
Three patients remain in two hospitals in Glasgow following last Monday’s tragic incident in George Square.
Two patients remain in Glasgow Royal Infirmary. One is a 14-year-old girl and one is a 64-year-old female, both of whom remain stable.
The 57-year-old male driver is being treated at the Western Infirmary and is also in a stable condition.
An 18-year-old woman who was injured in the George Square bin lorry crash was released from hospital in Glasgow earlier this week.
Student Erin McQuade, 18, and her grandparents Jack, 68, and Lorraine Sweeney, 69, all from Dumbarton, were among those killed by the out-of-control bin lorry before it crashed into the Millennium hotel next to Queen Street station.
The crash also claimed the lives of primary school teacher Stephenie Tait, 29, from Glasgow; Gillian Ewing, 52, from Edinburgh; and Jacqueline Morton, 51, from Glasgow.
Last Sunday, more than 1,000 people stood in silence during a two-minute vigil for the victims in the city’s Royal Exchange Square.
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