When ER24 paramedics arrived on scene, they found a mass casualty incident.
Occupants from the taxi lay across the highway and next to the wrecked vehicle.
On assessment of the scene, paramedics discovered that a woman and two men had died of injuries sustained.
Rescue services used the Jaws of Life equipment to free the trapped patients, while paramedics set out treating the various injured.
Advanced life support had been provided to the critically injured patients to stabilise their vital signs, according to ER24.
“The AER24 medical helicopter as well as an additional medical helicopter was called in to transport some of the critically injured patients to nearby hospitals for urgent medical treatment,” ER24 said in a statement.
The remaining patients were treated on scene, and later transported to nearby hospitals for further treatment.
It was believed that the collision was caused by the taxi’s tyre bursting, causing it to roll multiple times.
Police would investigate the matter further.
Twitter continues to buzz following the crash:
— Simone Cloete (@simscloe) November 5, 2014
— Public Servant (@PublicServantJB) November 5, 2014
Serious accident on the N1 north. Reported there are 16 deceased and the best part is that onlookers robbed the deceased. Welcome to SA
— Nico Boeresoldaat #gatvol (@hazourd) November 5, 2014
Terrible accident on N1 north just b4 Maraisburg off ramp. Use alternative routes.
— Lebo Pelesane (@lebopee) November 5, 2014
Bad taxi accident on N1 North before Maraisburg exit. Rear tyre burst! Avoid! #Retreads
— PigSpotter™ Pty Ltd (@PigSpotter) November 5, 2014
— langanani (@langimbodi) November 5, 2014