Commerce Secretary Charged With Felony Hit & Run, Hospitalized
An odd incident in Los Angeles this weekend involving Commerce Secretary John Bryson:
Authorities are investigating a series of traffic collisions in the San Gabriel Valley involving U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, authorities said Saturday.
Bryson was found unconscious in his vehicle and has been hospitalized, officials said.
Bryson was driving a Lexus in the 400 block of South San Gabriel Boulevard shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday, when he allegedly rear-ended a Buick as it was waiting for a train to pass, according to a statement released by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and the San Gabriel Police Department.
After briefly stopping to talk to the three men inside the Buick, Bryson left the location in the Lexus and then struck the Buick a second time, authorities said. The men followed Bryson’s car and called 911 to ask for police assistance.
Bryson continued to drive his Lexus into Rosemead, which is patrolled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. There, he allegedly crashed into a second vehicle near the intersection of San Gabriel Boulevard and Hellman Avenue.
There authorities found him alone and unconscious behind the wheel of his car.
Bryson was treated at the scene by Los Angeles County firefighters. Authorities said drugs or alcohol do not appear to have played a role in the crash. They said Bryson was cooperative. He was cited for felony hit and run but was not booked into jail because he had been admitted to the hospital. His condition was not known.
From the report, it sounds like Bryson may have had some kind of medical condition that led to the crashes. Hopefully, he’ll be okay and we’ll get to the bottom of this.
Update: The Commerce Department is saying that Bryson had a “seizure” at the time of the accidents:
WASHINGTON (AP) – Commerce Secretary John Bryson suffered a seizure in connection with two traffic accidents in the Los Angeles area that left him injured and unconscious, the government said Monday.
The Commerce Department said Bryson was taken to the hospital for examination and remained overnight for observation. He was released and returned to Washington, spokeswoman Jennifer Friedman said. The department says an investigation is ongoing.
A Commerce Department official said Bryson was on personal time and did not have any security detail at the time of the accidents. He was driving his own vehicle and was given medication to treat the seizure.
At the same time, though, Talking Points Memo is shooting down earlier reports that drugs and alcohol have been ruled out by investigators:
Despite earlier reports, investigators haven’t yet ruled out drugs or alcohol in a bizarre pair of weekend collisions allegedly involving U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson, a lieutenant with the San Gabriel Police Department told TPM on Monday morning.
“We can’t confirm that it was no drugs or alcohol,” Lt. Ariel Duran said by phone. “We don’t know until all the testing comes back. So at this point, it could be one of those or it could be medical.”
Duran said he didn’t know how long it would take for the Los Angeles County crime lab to come back with test results for drugs or alcohol.
So, this story is far from over.