The person who died after falling from a moving van on Auckland's Southern Motorway was a middle-aged man.

The man died at the scene after the incident, which blocked four northbound lanes at Ellerslie yesterday, despite efforts from emergency services and a police helicopter landing twice on the motorway.

An Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust spokesman this morning confirmed the victim was a middle-aged man.

A motorist watched in horror as they saw the man fall from a white van moving at 100km/h, and was narrowly missed by following vehicles.

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The police Eagle helicopter landed on the motorway to provide immediate first aid.
The police Eagle helicopter landed on the motorway to provide immediate first aid.

The witness said it was "unbelievable" the following vehicles were able to slam on their brakes and not hit the man as he lay prone on the road.

A woman two cars behind the van involved describes the events as "unbelievable".

"It was unbelievable how the man didn't get run over by the truck that was on the left lane as it happened so suddenly," she told the Herald.

All citybound lanes were closed after the man fell from the van, causing lengthy traffic delays from 11.15am to 1.30pm.

Witnesses tried to give the man CPR but he died at the scene.
Witnesses tried to give the man CPR but he died at the scene.

The police Eagle helicopter had to land in the middle of the motorway to provide immediate first aid.

A police spokeswoman said the Eagle helicopter was requested to assist because it would be the quickest way to get to the scene.

One witness said a person could be seen lying on the motorway and was being treated by ambulance staff.

Witnesses said drivers were reversing down the motorway to try to avoid the crash scene, with delays stretching back as far as Sylvia Park.

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The Serious Crash Unit was at the scene.

Another witness described the Eagle helicopter landing on the motorway, and several more people attempting to reach the person from the Ellerslie Train Station nearby.

"It is not every day you see a police helicopter blocking the motorway."