Homicide

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

  • Cars pass charred ground, Tuesday, June 7, 2016, remnants at the scene of a fatal traffic accident  in rural Tuscaloosa County, Ala. James Halsell Jr., a former NASA astronaut who flew on five space shuttle missions, is is charged with murder after an early-morning car wreck Monday, June 6, killed two young sisters on the lonely stretch of highway in Alabama. (AP Photo/Phillip Lucas)

    Cars pass charred ground, Tuesday, June 7, 2016, remnants at the scene of a fatal traffic accident in rural Tuscaloosa County, Ala. James Halsell Jr., a former NASA astronaut who flew on five space shuttle missions, is is charged with murder after an early-morning car wreck Monday, June 6, killed two young sisters on the lonely stretch of highway in Alabama. (AP Photo/Phillip Lucas)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE -In this Thursday, April 6, 2000 file photo, Space shuttle Atlantis mission commander James Halsell Jr. speaks to reporters at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla, about a problem with the Atlantis. Halsell Jr. of Huntsville was arrested after a crash that killed 11-year-old Niomi Deona James and 13-year-old Jayla Latrick Parler of Brent early Monday, June 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Peter Cosgrove, File)

    FILE -In this Thursday, April 6, 2000 file photo, Space shuttle Atlantis mission commander James Halsell Jr. speaks to reporters at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla, about a problem with the Atlantis. Halsell Jr. of Huntsville was arrested after a crash that killed 11-year-old Niomi Deona James and 13-year-old Jayla Latrick Parler of Brent early Monday, June 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Peter Cosgrove, File)  (The Associated Press)

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.