Ladies’ Code Opens Up For 1st Time About Car Accident That Led To Passing Of EunB And RiSe
For the first time in five years, Ladies’ Code spoke about the tragic car accident which led to the passing of their members EunB and RiSe.
On September 3, 2014, Ladies’ Code was involved in a serious car accident when they were on their way back to Seoul after an event. EunB passed away that day while RiSe passed away four days later on September 7. Sojung was seriously injured in the accident.
For the November 11 episode of Channel A’s “Eye Contact,” members Ashley and Zuny invited Sojung to the show to talk about the accident and how it’s affected her birthday, which was on the same day as the accident. Ashley talked about how hard it is for Sojung, who should be able to have a happy day like anyone else on their birthday, and she shared her hope that Sojung will be able to celebrate with her loved ones without a heavy heart.
In addition, Ashley explained that while they always talk amongst themselves about EunB and RiSe, they haven’t ever spoken about what happened on the day of the accident.
Sojung said in a private interview, “After we did a broadcast that day, we went somewhere pretty far away to do an event.” She shared that it was raining a lot on the way back, and they’d all been tired. They went to a rest stop, and when she came back to their van from the restroom, her members surprised her with a cake made of choco pies (snack cakes) with birthday candles. They sang to her and apologized because it was all they could do for her birthday.
“I told them it was okay because we were busy, and then I got in and we drove off,” she said. “We were so tired, so I fell asleep on the way. To be honest, that’s my last memory of that. I think I was probably taken to the hospital then.”
She shared that after the accident, their manager had asked Zuny to check on the other members and try to wake them up, and Zuny had been scared by the wounds on Sojung’s face. “I think I must have been making strange noises,” she said.
Sojung explained that she’d been very injured on her upper body because she’d been asleep, and she’d gone into shock because she had hit her head. Although the bones in the right side of face were broken, they couldn’t do surgery for a few days because of the severe swelling in her face. “I think I just spent three or four days lying down doing nothing,” she said.
She was sharing a room in the hospital with Ashley, and at one point Ashley suddenly began to cry after looking at her phone. The caption explained that Ashley had found out the news about their members through a news report.
“I couldn’t ask anything,” Sojung said, and began to become tearful over the memory. “No one told me anything. I just thought, ‘Something’s happened.'” She explained that she’d felt great pain over not knowing what had happened.
Sojung shared tearfully that none of them had eaten the birthday cake they’d chosen for her, as they’d been worried about gaining weight. “I’ve never talked about this,” she said as she collected herself. “We should have eaten it.”
When asked if they’d ever talked about the accident, Sojung said, “We’ve never talked about it. Because I know how hard it was for them.” She said that the trauma must have been much more severe for Ashley and Zuny, who had been awake at the scene. “They saw it all, so it must remain in their memory like a photograph,” she said.
In Ashley and Zuny’s interview, Zuny confirmed that the scene remains that vivid in her head. “It was really shocking,” she said. “Even after I was discharged from the hospital, for a while I couldn’t even wash my face. If I closed my eyes, I’d see that scene. I’d see it and hear what it sounded like too.”
“I’d wash with my eyes open and I couldn’t even turn off all the lights,” she said. “There always had to be a bit of light. I was scared of sleeping, because I’d have to close my eyes. If I closed my eyes, then I’d see it and hear it. It was hard.”
When the members met for the “eye contact” segment of the show, they were first separated by a barrier. As the barrier raised, they laughed as soon as they met each other’s eyes. After silently looking at each other for a while, they began to cry.
Once the eye contact segment ended, they talked about why they’d invited Sojung to talk. Ashley explained to Sojung, “We hope that you’ll be able to have a bit of a happier birthday without a heavy heart.” Sojung replied with a smile that they always have fun together while avoiding that day.
Ashley laughed and replied that they feel cautious on the day itself, and she told her that RiSe and EunB would want her to be happy on her birthday.
While talking about how she feels about her birthday, Sojung shared, “I went to visit them on September 3, 2015, but when I came back I couldn’t do anything else.” She shared that it had been hard to see a social media post uploaded about her birthday at the same time as one uploaded to commemorate the passing of EunB.
In her private interview, Sojung said, “After that day, I didn’t think of September 3 as my birthday. It wasn’t a day for me to be congratulated. It would be strange to go see EunB in the morning and then have a birthday party in the evening, wouldn’t it? That week is really hard. It’s hard to do anything in the time between September 3 and September 7, and I feel like I shouldn’t do anything. My birthday is a sad day.”
“I think at first, it didn’t feel real,” she continued. “It felt like they’d just gone on a holiday. It was like they’d gone far away on a holiday.” She shared that Ashley and Zuny had had dreams about RiSe and EunB and they talked about what they’d done with them in their dreams, but Sojung didn’t have any dreams with them for a year or two. “I think that was because it didn’t feel real.”
To her members, Sojung pointed out that it always rains in the first week of September, and they nodded. “I think September 3 is a bad day,” she said. She then asked them if they remembered the choco pies that had been her cake.
“We lost the letter that we’d handwritten for you too,” said Ashley. “We worked so hard on that.”
Ashley brought up how it had been difficult for them to perform their songs such as “Pretty Pretty” and “Bad Girl” with only three members at their first event after the accident.
Ashley said in her interview, “‘Pretty Pretty’ has RiSe’s name in the lyrics, so when they first said that the three of us would have to perform it, I honestly said that I thought I wouldn’t be able to. I really noticed their absence, and I wondered if I’d be able to perform on stage without them. I didn’t want to, I didn’t think I could, and I was scared. At first, I just wanted to run away.”
As they talked together, Sojung brought up the memory of the three of them going together to record the song so that they could perform at their first event after the accident.
“We didn’t say anything to each other after we left home and just rode in the car,” Sojung said. “We were all looking out the window. I felt so strange, my heart hurt so much. Because I didn’t want to do it, but we had to. That was the only song we had that people knew. I was thinking, ‘This is too hard, I really don’t want to do this.’ I looked over, and Ashley was crying with the same expression as me, looking in the other direction.” They laughed tearfully over how they’d been trying to hide the fact that they’d been crying, and Sojung mentioned that it was hard when they were learning the choreography too.
The members talked about how they had found it easier to talk to friends or family about this rather than their fellow members. “We were worried we’d end up like this,” joked Sojung as she gestured to their tearful state.
“I think we need to talk about this sometimes too,” said Ashley. “Let’s talk about it a bit more in the future. I hope that in the future your birthday will be a happy day when you can receive all the good wishes possible.”
As Sojung was asked to make her decision over whether or not she’d accept their suggestion (as part of the show’s format), Zuny asked Sojung to believe in them and just think of herself instead of other things. Ashley put out her hand to Sojung to ask her to accept, but Sojung instead quickly tapped both of their hands before leaving the room to show that she’d rejected the suggestion.
“It seems she’s not ready,” said Zuny to Ashley after she left, and Sojung wiped her tears outside the room. When they met again, Ashley gave her a hug while saying, “I respect your decision.”
The three gathered for another interview where Sojung was asked why she didn’t accept. “I wanted to be honest, I didn’t want to lie,” she said. “I did waver a bit when she reached out her hand, but I think I can’t fully accept it yet. If you ask me again in the future, I’ll consider it again then.”
Ashley told her that even though she knows Sojung’s rejected their suggestion, she and Zuny will still continue to celebrate her birthday.
Ashley, Sojung, and Zuny have continued to promote as Ladies’ Code as well as pursue their own solo activities, and they recently made a comeback with “Set Me Free” in October.