Motorist 'swerved to avoid' dead teenager on motorway
The 19-year-old woman had been walking west, up the wrong side of the motorway, with a male friend when she was hit by a vehicle at about 11pm on Tuesday.
Her body was flung over the central reservation and hit by a car on the westbound carriageway, near the Hermiston Junction at the end of the M8 in Edinburgh, in the gruesome incident.
A number of vehicles were forced to swerve out of the way and pull over, but police believe she was struck several times, including by a minibus and a car.
One male witness told The Scotsman how he saw the vehicle in front of him strike something on the road moments before a bloodied body appeared on the road before him.
He said: "I could see there was a body on the motorway with blood on the head, and managed to swerve out of the way, but I could see that vehicle behind had hit it as well. It was horrible."
It is thought the victim, who is understood to be from the West Lothian area, and her friend had earlier been enjoying a night out at the Fringe in the city centre and had decided to walk home.
Police say the pair had come on to the M8 via the Calder Junction after travelling west along Calder Road through the Sighthill area of west Edinburgh.
They are thought to have started walking along the westbound carriageway before crossing the central reservation, so that they were walking against the flow of traffic heading into the city centre.
Investigating officers say they are still looking for witnesses who may have seen the pair, or saw the teenager being struck on the motorway.
The force has ruled out foul play, insisting there are no suspicious circumstances, describing the incident as a "tragic accident".
The motorist, who asked not to be named, said: "I was driving along the westbound carriageway around 11.15pm when I saw the lights of the car in front go up and down as if it had hit something.
"I pulled over to the side of the road to phone an ambulance and could see a lot of cars and lorries swerving to avoid the body. I was worried they might have swerved off the motorway completely and it was around 10 minutes before the emergency services arrived."
Both carriageways of the motorway were closed until 7am yesterday while the accident scene was investigated. It is thought the teenager may have been struck by a number of westbound vehicles.
Inspector David Milne, of the Lothian and Borders road policing unit, said: "We believe the victim was killed by the impact of the first collision, which has thrown her onto the westbound carriageway.
"It appears her friend was with her at the time. He was able to give us a statement but is obviously pretty traumatised by what has happened."
The inspector said the force was still trying to piece together exactly how the pair ended up on the eastbound carriageway.
Inspector Milne added: "We are appealing for anyone who was travelling eastbound or westbound on the M8 between Claylands and Hermiston Gait between 10.15pm and 11pm, who may have witnessed the collision or noticed any persons walking on or near to the M8, to come forward.
"Similarly, we want to speak to any pedestrians who may have been on the Gogar Station Road bridge over the M8, and saw the victim from there.
"We are considering the possibility that other motorists may have hit the victim as they travelled west on the M8 at around 11pm, after the initial fatal collision. They may have been unaware of striking her at the time."