Former Astronaut Charged with Murder After Car Accident Kills Two in Tuscaloosa County
A former astronaut is in custody following a crash on Hwy. 82 in Tuscaloosa County that killed two children and injured two more.
Police say alcohol and speed might have been factors when a Chrysler 300 driven by James Halsell Jr. slammed into a Ford Fiesta driven by Pernell James. The impact threw 11-year-old Niomi Deona James and 13-year-old Jayla Latrick Parler from the vehicle. Both young girls died in the accident.
Halsell, who lives in Huntsville, graduated from the Air Force Academy before flying five space shuttle missions for NASA. He was arrested and later released on $150,000 bail.
According to WAFF, James was returning from Texas after picking up his two daughters from their mother's home so they could stay with him for the summer. They were only 20 minutes from home when the accident happened.