Commerce Chief Secretary John Bryson Cited in Hit-and-Run
Commerce Secretary John Bryson was cited for felony hit-and-run following two car accidents over the weekend in Los Angeles, police said.
The recently installed Cabinet member was found unconscious in his car late Saturday afternoon, following the second collision, and was admitted to a local hospital for what were described as "non-life threatening injuries." While the first crash is under investigation as a hit-and-run, Los Angeles law enforcement said there's "no indication" drugs or alcohol played a role in either collision.
The cause of the crashes is unclear. According to law enforcement, Bryson, 68, struck two cars a total of three times over the course of just a few minutes late Saturday afternoon.
Lt. Ariel Duran, an official with the San Gabriel Police Department, told Fox News that police are awaiting test results to see whether a medical issue could be involved. Duran said Bryson was cooperative during the investigation and did supply a blood sample -- Duran said Bryson was not taken into custody since he was admitted to the hospital.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's department and the San Gabriel Police Department said that in the first crash, Bryson was driving alone in his Lexus on a major street in San Gabriel when he allegedly struck the rear end of a Buick. He spoke with the occupants of that car before leaving the scene and "hitting the same car again as he left the scene," according to a police statement. The men in the Buick followed him.
The agencies say minutes later he struck another vehicle, a Honda Accord, in a nearby community, and police arriving found him unconscious behind the wheel of his car.
Prosecutors will determine later if he'll be formally charged.
"The preliminary investigation indicates the collision was caused by suspect John Bryson, who is the United States Secretary of Commerce," the law enforcement statement said.
Commerce Department officials couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
Two people in the first collision were treated by paramedics after complaining of pain, the officials said. The couple involved in the second crash also complained of pain but declined medical aid.
Damage to the vehicles was minor.
San Gabriel is located just northeast of Los Angeles.
President Obama swore in the former utility executive as the head the Commerce Department in October, after easily overcoming conservatives' objections that his pro-environmental views made him unsuited for the job.