Some West Virginia residents may be unaware that 59-year-old James Halsell Jr., a former NASA astronaut, has been charged with murder following a fatal car accident in Alabama. The incident took place on June 6, and authorities say that speed and alcohol played a role in the crash. Halsell was released from custody after posting a $150,000 bail.
Two sisters, a 13-year-old and an 11-year-old, were killed in the crash. The victims were being driven by their 37-year-old father when the incident occurred. He and a 25-year-old woman were both injured in the collision, which took place on a remote highway in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. The father has no recollection of the accident.
Halsell’s vehicle reportedly rear-ended the victims’ car. A court deposition reported that Halsell appeared in a disheveled state and that his speech was slurred when police contacted him. He also is said to have had trouble walking and smelled of alcohol. Both of the girls were thrown from the vehicle in the crash. Sources say that their father had intended for them to spend the summer with him in Alabama.
After a fatal accident such as this, the decedent’s survivors may be entitled to receive financial compensation for the losses that they have incurred. Although restitution cannot remedy the loss of a loved one, it can provide much needed relief during a time of need and better allow a family to focus on their own well-being. An attorney representing the family in a wrongful death lawsuit can use the results of the police investigation report and other evidence in order to demonstrate the negligence of the defendant.