Secretary of Commerce John Bryson Involved in Felony Hit-and-Run

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Commerce Secretary John Bryson is in a California hospital this morning after causing two car accidents just minutes apart on Saturday. Police say that Bryson rear-ended a vehicle that was stopped while waiting for a passing train in the town of San Gabriel. He reportedly talked briefly to the three men in the other car, but then drove off, hitting the same car again as he left. Then moments later, he crashed into a second car. Authorities arriving on the scene found him unconscious in the front seat. Bryson was later taken to the hospital and is still admitted.

CNN reports that drug and alcohol tests came back negative, but Bryson was cited for felony hit and run for the first incident while still in the hospital. The damages were minor in both accidents and none of the injuries were considered serious. Bryson, who is the former CEO of Edison International power company, has only been on the job since October.

Update (9:45 a.m.): The Commerce Department is saying that Bryson suffered a seizure, although they did not specify if the seizure caused the crashes or was a result of them. TalkingPointsMemo also says the despite earlier reports, drugs and alcohol have not been completely ruled out. From The New York Times:

In statements released on Monday morning, the Commerce Department said that Mr. Bryson “suffered a seizure” and remained overnight at the hospital for examination.

“Secretary Bryson was involved in a traffic accident over the weekend,” Jennifer Friedman, a department spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. “He was taken to the hospital for examination and has been released. He has sustained no injuries and the investigation is ongoing.”

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