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Former Astronaut Attempted to Take Vehicle After Fatal Crash

Emma D'Arpino4 months ago

WPVI-TV Philadelphia reported that a former space shuttle commander and pilot charged with reckless murder tried to take the vehicle of someone who stopped at the scene to offer assistance. 

About the Fatal Crash

On Monday at about 2:50 a.m. James Halsell, a former astronaut, appeared extremely intoxicated after a crash he was involved in left two girls dead

A motorist who passed by the crash, which took place on a desolate highway in rural Alabama, told officers that when he stopped to help, Halsell tried to take his pickup truck.  Though the description does not entail what happened next, Halsell was still at the scene when officers arrived. 

In the report of the accident, the officer wrote, “Halsell was under the influence of alcohol and said he didn't remember leaving the hotel. Halsell said he will have to figure out what happened in the crash because he didn't know.” 

Additionally, the state trooper’s statement said Halsell told officers he was headed to Louisiana, in a rented car, to pick up his son and he believed he was on Interstate 20/59, despite actually being on U.S. 82.

The driver of the car that Halsell hit said that Halsell struck his Ford Fiesta from the rear, sending it tumbling across the road, and causing his daughters in the back seat to get ejected from the car. 

Halsell is free on $150,000 bond. 

Important Information About Drunk Driving

All information is provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

  • In a study conducted by the NHTSA, it was found that drivers at a breath alcohol level of 0.08 percent, the legal limit in every state, were about four times more likely to crash than sober drivers.
  • The same study also found that drivers with an alcohol level of 0.15 percent were 12 times more likely to crash than sober drivers.
  • Alcohol-impaired motor vehicle crashes cost more than an estimated $37 billion annually.
  • In 2012, more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, which is one death every 51 minutes.


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