POLICE chiefs have confirmed that a man who died after being struck by a tanker on the M8 was a serving officer.
Detective Constable IanSmollet, 35, stepped out of avehicle on the hard shoulder of the M8 outside Edinburgh when he was hit by a passing truckyesterday.
He was taken to the RoyalInfirmary of Edinburgh where he died from his injuries last night.
DC Smollet was from Livingston, West Lothian and worked in the Lothians and ScottishBorders Division of the newsingle police force.
He was off duty at the time of the accident.
Officers believe he left hisvehicle after stopping on the hard shoulder betweenjunctions 2 and 3 of thewestbound carriageway, at around 3:40pm on Thursday.
He was then struck by aLeyland DAF tanker.
The accident sparked major tailbacks in the Edinburgh area and the road was closed for around five hours.
It is not clear whether DC Smollet left hisvehicle to assist another motorist or if he had broken down.Divisional commander Chief Superintendent Gill Imery said the thoughts of all officers atPolice Scotland would be with his family.
She said: “It is with the deepest regret I can confirm thatDetective Constable IanSmollet, who served in the Lothians and Scottish Borders Division, has died following Thursday’scollision on the M8.
“Our sympathies are with his family, friends and colleagues at this very difficult time.
“Road Policing Officers are continuing their investigation.
“I would urge any members of the public who witnessed the collision to contact policeimmediately.”
Tributes have been made to DC Smollet.
The Scottish Police Federation described news of the incident as “devastating”.
They wrote on Twitter: “Devastating news of theoff-duty death of DC Ian Smollet. Thoughts with family, friends and colleagues.”
Tributes have also been paid from forces in England.
The Merseyside Policefederation wrote on Twitter: “Thoughts with the family, friends and colleagues of DC Ian Smollet who has died after an off-duty incident.” Northumbria Police Federation and the Police Roll of Honour Trust also paid tribute.
DC Smollet’s death is thesecond fatal incident in six weeks on the M8.
In March, a road worker was killed after he was knocked down by a truck on a busy stretch of the road near Glasgow Airport.
The 33-year-old was struck by a Scania dumper truck near junction 28.
DC Smollet’s death comes only two weeks after AlexSalmond launched the start of work on a major extension of the M8.
The First Minister signalled the start of a £500 million project, which will include a new six-mile motorway stretch to replace the A8 betweenBaillieston and Newhouse and complete the motorway.
The project will also see a new A8 created, running between Baillieston and Eurocentral. In addition there will be major improvements to the M74 at the Raith interchange, on order to to cut congestion on the motorway and the East Kilbride Expressway.