Secretary of Commerce involved in 2 hit and run accidents (Update: A seizure?)

They didn't find any obvious signs of alcohol or drugs, but Commerce Secretary John Bryson has been cited for two felony hit and run accidents in California on Saturday night.


U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson was cited with felony hit-and-run after allegedly causing two car accidents within minutes of one another in southern California, a police spokesman told CNN early Monday.

Authorities cited Bryson at an area hospital where he was treated for injuries sustained in the accidents, Lt. Ariel Duran of the San Gabriel Police Department said.

Commerce Department spokeswoman Jennifer Friedman said Bryson was involved involved in an accident, but was uninjured. He has been released from the hospital, she said in a statement.

The accidents occurred Saturday evening, officials said.

Bryson, who was driving a Lexus, rear-ended a Buick that was stopped at a railroad crossing in San Gabriel, police said Sunday in a statement.

"Bryson spoke with the males, then left the scene, hitting the same car again as he left," the statement said.

The men in the Buick followed Bryson while calling 911 to report the accident, it said.

Bryson then drove to the neighboring city of Rosemead. where he hit a second car, according to authorities.

The commerce secretary was found "alone and unconscious behind the wheel of his vehicle," according to the police statement.

Paramedics treated him at the scene and took him to an area hospital, Duran said.

Two of the three men in the Buick were treated for minor injuries, according to police.

"The investigation is in its preliminary stages. At this point in time, there is no indication that alcohol or drugs played a role in the collisions," police said in the statement.

A preliminary alcohol screening of Bryson was negative, Duran said. Results from a blood alcohol test were pending, he said.

This is a bizarre incident. One could speculate it was caused by an adverse reaction to a prescription or over the counter medication, but the secretary was released from the hospital shortly after being admitted. And the near exoneration of Bryson by authorities that there is "no indication that alcohol or drugs played a role in the collisions" is also a little weird.

The incident itself is mysterious. Bryson appears to have attacked the Buick with the three guys in it - not once but twice. There's obviously a lot more to this story and it will be interesting to see how it us spun by the administration and media over the next few days.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky


AP is reporting that the Commerce Department announced that Bryson suffered a seizure behind the wheel:

U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson suffered a seizure in connection with two Los Angeles-area traffic crashes that led to a felony hit-and-run citation, officials said Monday.

Bryson, 68, was treated at a hospital following the crashes around 5 p.m. PDT Saturday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's department and the San Gabriel Police Department said in a joint statement.

"Secretary Bryson was involved in a traffic accident over the weekend," the Commerce Department said Monday. "He was taken to the hospital for examination and has been released. He has sustained no injuries and the investigation is ongoing."

Bryson has returned to Washington and an investigation into the crashes is ongoing, the department said.

OK - so here's the series of events: Bryson suffers a seizure and hits the back of a Buick stopped at a railroad track. He recovers from the seizure and speaks briefly with the three men. He gets back in his car and swipes the Buick again. Did he suffer another seizure there?  He drives a ways to the next town, suffers another seizre, and hits another car. Cops arrive and find him unconcious.

Uh-huh. Pretty convenient seizures if you ask me.