Police spokesperson Col Priscilla Naidu said a case of robbery was under investigation and an inquest docket was opened in relation to the woman’s death.
“Her name is withheld until a formal identification is done,” said Naidu.
It is alleged that the two women, who were 21 and 24 years old, boarded a taxi in Cape Road on Wednesday, she said.
“They were the only two passengers. At some point during their ride, they realised that the driver had taken a different route. He joined the M4 freeway from Mount Road. When he was questioned, the women were robbed of their personal belongings — handbags, money, cellphone and so on.
“The 21-year-old female jumped to the back seat of the taxi. It is further alleged that in her traumatic state, she opened the back window and jumped from the moving taxi.”
Naidu said she died on impact.
The discovery of her body on the highway caused an accident.
Naidu explained: “The body of the woman was lying on the M4, Port Elizabeth outbound. A [motorist in a] bakkie, travelling in that direction, noticed the body on the road and braked, causing a heavy-duty truck to hit him from behind. The truck had jack-knifed. No-one sustained injuries in this incident.”
The other passenger was found unharmed.