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Taxi in deadly R28 crash was overloaded

Gauteng traffic police say the taxi had loaded 18 people and the tyres couldn't handle the pressure.

FILE. Gauteng traffic police say the death toll in a crash involving a taxi and a truck on the R28 near Westonaria has risen to 19. Picture: Arrive Alive /@_ArriveAlive via n Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng traffic police say a taxi that crashed into a truck near Vereeniging killing 19 people, including four children, was overloaded.

The taxi driver lost control of the vehicle on the R28 near Westonaria on Sunday.

The taxi driver had picked up 18 passengers at a church in Gauteng and was travelling on the R28 when a tyre burst.

The Gauteng Traffic Department's Obed Sibasa says the tyre burst because the taxi was overloaded.

"Any motor vehicle that is overloaded, the tyres cannot take the pressure, they cannot take the weight and as a result, it ends up with a tyre burst."

He says the taxi drove straight into oncoming traffic, crashed into a truck and burst into flames.

No one in the taxi survived the crash.

At the same time, the Transport Department has sent its condolences to the families of the 19 people killed.

The department's Sam Monareng says, "Coincidentally so, this happens just two or three days after the acting minister actually launched the festive season campaign. As a department we are very worried that vehicles are roadworthy. But they also need to be carrying the correct number of passengers so there's no overloading."

Meanwhile a man, woman and two toddlers have died after the vehicle they were traveling in overturned on the N3 Highway near Marion Hill.

The cause of the accident is not known.