THE family of an off-duty police officer who died after being struck by a tanker truck on the M8 have paid tribute to him.
Detective Constable Ian Smollet, from Livingston, was killed after getting out of a vehicle that stopped on the hard shoulder of the westbound carriageway on Thursday. The 35-year-old was based at Livingston police station and served in the Lothians and Scottish Borders Division with Police Scotland.
DC Smollet was struck by a Leyland DAF tanker truck at around 3.40pm on the carriageway close to junction two.
Last night his heartbroken family issued a brief statement. It said: “Ian was a caring and loving husband, an amazing dad and will be missed immensely.”
Police said inquiries into the “full circumstances surrounding this incident” were continuing, and appealed for witnesses to come forward.
Chief Superintendent Gill Imery, local commander for the Lothians and Scottish Borders, 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 very 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.”
Councillor Peter Johnston, who represents Livingston South, said it was “tragic” for someone so young to lose his life. “My thoughts are with his family at this difficult time,” he said.
Councillor Mike Bridgman, convener of the police scrutiny committee in Edinburgh, said: “It is a tragedy that this has happened. Our thoughts and condolences go out to the family of DC Smollet and the colleagues who knew him well.”
DC Smollet suffered multiple injuries and was treated at the scene by an emergency trauma team. He died from his injuries after being rushed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.
Road policing officers were called to the crash scene and the road was closed for around five hours while they conducted an investigation – sparking traffic chaos.
Several UK forces and police organisations paid tribute to DC Smollet on Twitter last night.
The Scottish Police Federation spoke of the “devastating news” of his passing, and said its members thoughts were with “family, friends and colleagues”.
The Police Firearms Officers Association described the “great sadness” of his death. Police in Northumbria and Merseyside also sent messages of condolence.