Man drives van with family into pond, later commits suicide — (

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Elizabeth Owens

Published: February 21, 2009

North Carolina Highway Patrol says Brent Bigger did not try to pull his family out of their submerged van more than a month ago, but did flag down a motorist.

In early January, Brent Bigger along with his wife Patricia, 7 year old daughter Caroline, and four year old son Anthony crashed into a pond along Pickens Highway in Transylvania County, North Carolina.  Brent Bigger was driving the family van and managed to escape.  “We have no logical reason why the vehicle went off the roadway,” North Carolina Highway Patrol Sgt. P.V. Staggs said.

North Carolina Highway Patrol says Bigger did flag down a motorist but did not try to get wife and children out of the van.  Investigators gave Bigger a lie detector test which he passed.  Bigger told troopers he couldn’t remember prior to the two miles before the accident.

The Coroner says Bigger took his own life Thursday.  Investigators say he was depressed and had been taking medication.

Jean Black lives next door to Bigger’s relatives.  She and her husband found Bigger inside a running car with a hose running through the window from the tailpipe.  “He wanted to be with his family and I know he is in heaven with them,” she said.  Black says Bigger was holding a teddy bear and had pictures of his family and a Bible in the car with him.

Bigger will be buried next to his wife and children in Indiana.