Local News

Authorities Believe Seizure May Have Caused Fatal SUV Accident

Posted April 12, 2002

— A woman and her 1-month-old baby died Friday morning when the sport utility vehicle they were in ran off the road into a pond in Wake County. Authorities believe the mother may have suffered some kind of seizure.

Police say around 5:30 a.m., Danielle Bigliardi Harper, 27, and her daughter, Micayla Jo Harper, were driving from her parents' home in Garner to pick up Danielle's husband when their vehicle went into a pond near Foley Drive and Highway 50. Both the mother and daughter were pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say a seizure behind the wheel is a likely cause of the accident. According to family members, Danielle had epilepsy, and had seizures in the past. Her aunt said Danielle was taking medication and had not had a seizure in years.

Jonathan Adams, whose C.P.A. office is located near the pond, found the truck in the pond.

"I went outside and looked at the tracks. It looks like the car came across from Foley Station. It did not hit a tree and it looks like [she] didn't hit the brakes," he said.

To get a North Carolina driver's license, people with epilepsy have to have a form signed by their doctor saying they have been seizure-free for a year.

The bodies have been taken to the State Medical Examiners office in Chapel Hill for an autopsy. Authorities are asking anyone traveling in the area of Highway 50 near Foley Drive at approximately 5:30 a.m. Friday to contact the Garner Police department at

(919) 772-8810.

If you would like to help the family, a memorial fund has been set up. You can mail checks to:

The Danielle and Micayla Harper Memorial Fund First Federal Savings Bank 442 East Main Street Clayton, N.C. 27520

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