Five people were killed and 13 others injured when two minibus taxis and a truck collided in Effingham, north of Durban, on Monday.
The "horrific accident" happened on Queen Nandi Drive near the Engen Garage, just after 06:00, said Rescue Care spokesperson Garrith Jamieson.
"Two taxis and a truck had collided, before one taxi rolled coming to rest on its wheels. Four people were killed instantly before paramedics arrived, and one female, who had sustained major injuries, passed away a short while later, after paramedics attempted to resuscitate her," Jamieson said.
He said a number of other passengers had sustained various injuries and were treated on the scene by advanced life support paramedics, before being transported to different Durban hospitals, he said.
"A medical helicopter was brought to the scene to airlift a critically injured patient from the accident scene to a nearby hospital," Jamieson added.
Provincial police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane confirmed that five people had died at the scene, "while 13 people sustained injuries and were taken to hospital for medical attention".