Sunday 25 September 2016

Former astronaut charged with murder after car crash kills two girls

Published 07/06/2016 | 16:30

James Halsell Jr's career included five space shuttle flights starting in July 1994 (AP)
James Halsell Jr's career included five space shuttle flights starting in July 1994 (AP)

A former astronaut has been charged with murder after a car crash killed two girls in Alabama.

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State police said 59-year-old James Halsell Jr, of Huntsville, was arrested after a crash that killed 11-year-old Niomi Deona James and 13-year-old Jayla Latrick Parler.

Officers said a car driven by Halsell collided with a Ford Fiesta in which the girls were passengers. Both victims were thrown from the vehicle and died. Two others were injured.

Police said a preliminary investigation indicates alcohol and speed may have been factors.

An online Nasa biography says Halsell went to work in the aerospace industry in 2006 after a career that included five space shuttle flights starting in July 1994.

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