Sunday 22 October 2017

Former astronaut charged with murder after car crash kills two girls

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.

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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