Police: Ex-astronaut tried to take vehicle after fatal crash

Court documents show a former astronaut charged with reckless murder tried to take the vehicle of a passer-by after a deadly crash in rural Alabama.

The claim is included in a state trooper’s description of the wreck that led to the arrest of five-time space shuttle flier James Halsell Jr. of Huntsville.

The officer wrote that Halsell appeared extremely intoxicated after a crash that killed two girls early Monday.

The officer’s statement says a motorist who stopped to offer aid told officers the one-time astronaut tried to take his pickup truck. The description doesn’t say what happened next, but Halsell was still on the scene when officers arrived.

The 59-year-old Halsell is free on $150,000 bond. A woman who answered the phone Wednesday at his home number declined comment. Court records don’t list an attorney.

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