U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson cited in California hit-and-run accident

Suffered a seizure


(CNN) -- U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson, who police say was involved in two traffic accidents over the weekend, suffered a seizure and was hospitalized one night for observation before being released and returning to Washington, Commerce Department spokeswoman Jennifer Friedman said Monday.

--  From CNN's Brianna Keilar


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

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

The accidents occurred Saturday evening when Bryson, who was driving a Lexus, rear-ended a Buick with three people that was stopped at a railroad crossing in San Gabriel, waiting for a train to pass, police said in a written statement released late Sunday.

"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 9-1-1 to report the accident, it said.

Bryson, according to the statement, then drove to neighboring city of Rosemead where he struck a second car, a Honda Accord, driven by a couple.

Authorities found the commerce secretary "alone and unconscious behind the wheel of his vehicle," it said.

He was treated by paramedics and then taken to an area hospital, where he remains hospitalized, Duran said.

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

"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," the statement said.

A preliminary alcohol screening of Bryson was "negative," Duran said, adding that results of a blood alcohol test were pending.

President Barack Obama nominated Bryson to succeed Gary Locke as commerce secretary in May 2011. Bryson was confirmed by the Senate and sworn in as the 37th Secretary of Commerce in October 2011.

He served as chairman of the California utility company Edison International from 1990 until 2008.
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