AN off-duty police officer have been struck and killed by a tanker on a motorway.

Detective Constable Ian Smollet, 35, stepped out of a vehicle on the hard shoulder of the M8 near Edinburgh when he was hit by the passing truck.

He was taken to the city's Royal Infirmary where he died last night.

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Police Scotland offered their sympathies to the family of Mr Smollet, from Livingston, West Lothian.

The accident involving a Leyland DAF tanker happened between junctions two and three on the westbound carriageway.

There were traffic delays as investigators examined the scene following the collision at around 3.40pm.

Chief Superintendent Gill Imery said: "It is with the deepest regret I can confirm that Detective Constable Ian Smollet, who served in the Lothians and Scottish Borders Division, has died following Thursday's collision on the M8.

"Our sympathies are with his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.

"Road policing officers are continuing their investigation and I would urge any members of the public who witnessed the collision or who believe they can assist with this inquiry to contact police immediately."

Meanwhile, in a separate incident yesterday a lorry and four cars were involved in an accident which caused rush-hour chaos on the M74.

The crash happened near Raith Interchange between junction five and six at Hamilton at around 8.27am.

There were no reports of any serious injuries.

Two lanes were closed and Glasgow-bound traffic was gridlocked for five miles, with congestion continuing up to junction seven at Larkhall.

Motorists were facing delays of well over an hour and traffic was slowed for most of the morning.