Police investigating the death of a man whose body was found on the central reservation of the Edinburgh City Bypass are probing whether he was hit by a dairy delivery van, the Evening News can reveal.
Emergency services were called at about 8.20am on Thursday to reports of the grim discovery of the man's remains on the central reservation between the Sheriffhall Roundabout and the Gilmerton Junction.
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The find sparked traffic chaos throughout the day with a section of the Capital's busiest road between Sheriffhall and Gilmerton closed for eight hours while investigations took place.
A spokesman for milk giant Müller has since confirmed a van from their Bilston Glen depot was involved in 'a road traffic incident' on the bypass.
It is understood one line of enquiry being pursued by police is that the van driver may have been in collision with the man between midnight and 2am this morning - but believed they had struck a deer and returned to the firm's depot.
A badly damaged van was removed from Müller's facility and taken to a police-approved recovery yard facility in Loanhead, where officers were seen taking samples from the vehicle throughout the day.
A Police Scotland spokesperson confirmed the forensic examination of the van was 'one line of enquiry' into the investigation.
Detectives are now appealing for motorists' dash-cam footage from the bypass taken between midnight and 2am in a bid to piece together exactly what happened.
Detective Inspector Keith MacKay of Dalkeith’s Criminal Investigation Department said: “This is a tragic incident and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the man.
“We are eager to establish the full circumstances of this incident. I would ask for anyone who was on the Edinburgh City Bypass between 12am and 2am on Thursday, January 17, and has information that can assist our inquiries to get in touch with us.
“I would also appeal for anyone who has a dash-cam with any pertinent footage to get in touch with us and allow us to view it.”
The man's death is currently being treated as unexplained and a report will be sent to the Procurator Fiscal.
No arrests have been made in connection with the investigation.
A spokesman for Müller said: “We can confirm that one of our delivery drivers was involved in a road traffic incident on the A720 this morning. We are offering Police Scotland our full support with their investigations and our thoughts are with the family of the deceased.”
Anyone with information about the incident should contact police officers at Dalkeith CID on 101, quoting incident number 0644 of January 17, or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.