WorkSafe has opened an investigation into the death of an intellectually disabled man after he fell from a moving van on an Auckland motorway.

The middle-aged man died at the scene after he fell from a van on the Southern Motorway just after 11am on Thursday. The van had been travelling at 100km/h.

The incident forced the motorway's closure for more than two hours, with a police helicopter landing on the road to provide immediate first aid.

He was a client of Framework Services Ltd, a subsidiary of the Framework Trust, which provides community based services to support people who are mentally ill or have intellectual disabilities.

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Scene of the fatal accident on Auckland's Southern Motorway at Ellerslie. Photo / Doug Sherring
Scene of the fatal accident on Auckland's Southern Motorway at Ellerslie. Photo / Doug Sherring

A WorkSafe spokesperson said it had opened an investigation into this incident but were unable to provide any further comment at this stage.

The investigation comes after Framework Services announced yesterday that it was also conducting an internal review.

Its chairman, Fuimaono Tuiasau, said: "Framework Services are co-operating with authorities' inquiries, and we will be conducting an internal review of the incident and our procedures to improve if necessary our practices and processes."

Acting CEO Beverley Pollard said the company was working with police and therefore unable to comment any further.

The scene of the incident. Photo / Doug Sherring
The scene of the incident. Photo / Doug Sherring

A witness to the incident said she saw a man fall from a white van that was travelling at 100km/h in the far right lane at 11.15am.

The woman, who was in the second car behind the van, said all of the cars behind it came to a sudden stop.

"I have no idea how that happened. 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 said.