Detectives fear a cyclist who was found with serious head injuries on a Fife coastal road may have been the victim of a hit-and-run.
Emergency services were called to treat the 43-year-old victim shortly before 7.45pm on Monday evening after he was discovered by members of the public lying prone on the A917 between St Monans and Elie.
The man had suffered significant and extensive head injuries and was rushed to Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital where he was said to be in a “critical” condition.
A full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash was immediately launched and, while officers say they are keeping an “open mind”, the probe is now focused on whether or not the man was struck by a vehicle which then failed to stop.
Detective Chief Inspector John Anderson, from Fife CID, revealed he was particularly keen to speak with the driver of a silver Vauxhall – likely to be an Astra hatchback, estate or van – that officers know sustained damage on the Elie to St Monans road near to Ardross Cottages.
“The male cyclist has sustained serious head injuries and we are actively working to establish if a motorist was involved and did not stop after the incident took place,” he said.
“Given the time of day this occurred, it is unlikely any individual would be unaware if they had struck someone, as there would still have been plenty of light.
“I would ask any motorist involved to search their conscience and come forward as a matter of urgency to speak with us and explain the full circumstances of what happened.
“Likewise, any other motorists or members of the public who have any relevant information, including anyone with dash-cam footage who may have been travelling in this area of Fife yesterday evening, should also contact police immediately.”
Police believe the rider came off his bike some time between 7.30 and 7.45pm, which is when he was found seriously hurt on the roadway by members of the public.
Initial indications were that the man had fallen off and no other vehicles were involved, but subsequent investigations by road policing officers and other divisional resources have cast doubt on that theory.
“We need to know if these two incidents, the cyclist and the collision involving a silver Vauxhall, are linked,” DCI Anderson stressed.
“It’s important we piece together the movements of people in the East Neuk at around the time of the accident, and that’s why we’re really keen to hear from anyone who may have dash-cam footage.
“A man has been seriously injured and his family are looking for answers, so it’s important for, if this has been a collision, the driver to come forward and report it to police, rather than us coming to chap on their door.”
The road was closed for several hours as crash investigations got under way, and only re-opened at around 4 o’clock yesterday morning.
Family members of the injured man were notified and were being supported by family liaison officers from Police Scotland last night.
Anyone with information about the incident can contact Police Scotland via 101, or an anonymous report can be made to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.