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Former NASA astronaut facing murder charges after accident

Media outlets in Texas and around the country have reported that a former Air Force test pilot and NASA astronaut is facing murder charges after being involved in a deadly crash in Alabama on June 6. The 59-year-old man, who piloted or commanded the space shuttle on five occasions, is accused of causing the death of girls aged 11 and 13. The girls lost their lives after being ejected from the car that they were passengers in. Responding police officers say that excess speed and alcohol consumption may have been contributory factors.

The accident occurred in a heavily wooded and remote part of Tuscaloosa County, and police say that the former astronaut's car left lengthy skid marks on the road surface. The man told first responders that he did not recall the crash, and officers say that they discovered empty bottles that had contained wine and sleeping pills when they searched his motel room. Reports indicate that his car struck the rear of the vehicle carrying the girls with sufficient force to push it across the roadway and flip it over.

Police say that the former astronaut was disheveled and unsteady on his feet at the scene of the auto accident and spoke incoherently when questioned. They also claim that his eyes were dilated and his breath smelled strongly of alcohol. The man was released from custody after posting bail that had been set at $150,000.

Drunk drivers who cause accidents that result in serious injuries or death often lose their lives or face many years behind bars. Personal injury lawsuits brought on behalf of accident victims are usually filed against the negligent motorists involved or their insurance providers, but attorneys may also file this kind of litigation against the estates of reckless drivers who have been killed in the crash.

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