Sole Survivor of Tragic ZCC Bus Accident Faces Temporary Memory Loss During Recovery Journey

Following the devastating ZCC bus accident that claimed 45 lives, including numerous members of the St. Engenas ZCC from Botswana, a glimmer of hope emerges with the survival of an eight-year-old girl. However, her path to recovery slightly hindered by memory loss resulting from the traumatic event.

Lorraine Atlang Siako, the sole survivor of the accident, sustained severe injuries and temporary memory loss after the bus veered off a cliff near Mmamatlakala in Limpopo and burst into flames. While she recalls events from Botswana, her memory of the crash remains elusive.

Medical experts anticipate that her memory will gradually return over time, but the journey to full recovery is expected to be lengthy. Despite her physical progress, Lorraine continues to grapple with the psychological trauma caused by the accident.

Recently, Lorraine was discharged from Mokopane Hospital, indicating positive strides in her recovery. However, health officials emphasize the importance of ongoing care and support to address the emotional impact of the ordeal.

Initial reports suggested that Lorraine had suffered amnesia and could not recall the events leading to her survival. In an interview with broadcaster eNCA, Dr. Phophi Ramathuba, the Health MEC for Limpopo, revealed that Lorraine’s memory is gradually returning.

During their conversation, Lorraine shared her recollection of the incident, mentioning that the bus was speeding.

“Yesterday, when she had fully recovered and her wounds were satisfactorily (healed) such that we can discharge her, when I had a conversation with her, she could now start narrating what she remembers – the bus speeding. I am sure it was the time the driver was trying to negotiate on the road,” explained the MEC who is also a medical doctor.

Regarding her survival, Lorraine recounted being carried and thrown out of a window, leading Dr. Ramathuba to speculate that her grandmother likely sacrificed herself to save her granddaughter.

“All she remembers is that she was carried and thrown out through the window. The grandmother here probably sacrificed her life and saved her granddaughter. This is a very intelligent child who is beginning to remember. It is just unfortunate that she said after that (being thrown out of the moving bus) she blacked off and she remembers when she was with us at the hospital. She is quite an intelligent child,” Dr Phophi Ramathuba said.

Meanwhile, efforts are underway to identify and repatriate the remains of the 45 victims, a process that involves collaboration between South African and Botswana authorities. Despite the challenges posed by the complexity of the task, authorities remain committed to conducting thorough DNA analysis to ensure accurate identification.

As Lorraine begins her journey towards healing, her remarkable survival serves as a beacon of hope amidst the tragedy, reminding us of the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.