Secretary of Commerce Suspected of Felony Hit and Run

Jun 11, 2012 7:57am

U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson is suspected of felony hit and run from an incident that took place on Saturday evening, one that the White House was not told about until Sunday night, officials told ABC News. Bryson hit two cars three times, and was found unconscious behind the wheel of his Lexus.

A statement from Jennifer Friedman, a spokeswoman for the Department of Commerce, stated that Bryson was “involved in a traffic accident over the weekend in Los Angeles. He was taken to the hospital for examination and has been released. He has sustained no injuries and the investigation is ongoing.” Bryson was allegedly driving his Lexus traveling southbound on San Gabriel Boulevard when at approximately 5:05 pm Pacific Time he rear-ended a Buick that had stopped and was waiting for a train to pass, authorities said. Bryson got out of his car, spoke to the three males in the Buick, “then left the scene, hitting the same car as he left the scene,” read a joint statement from the San Gabriel Police Department and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. “The three males followed him in their car while calling San Gabriel Police officers via 911 and asking for assistance.” In yet another bizarre twist to the story, about five minutes later Bryson then hit another car containing a man and woman, a Honda Accord, in the city of Rosemead and “was found alone and unconscious behind the wheel of his vehicle.” The law enforcement statement said that two of the three men in the Buick and one of the occupants of the Honda Accord complained of pain as a result of the collisions. The men in the Buick were treated by paramedics. The statement said that the investigation was in its preliminary stages and at this point in time “there is no indication that alcohol of drugs played a role in the collisions.” “Information was given that he suffers from a preexisting medical condition,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Pope told ABC News Radio. No information about his medical condition was immediately forthcoming from the White House or Commerce Department. The story was first reported by the Pasadena Star News.

On Thursday, Bryson was commencement speaker at the 2012 Polytechnic School in Pasadena, Calif., from which all four of his daughters graduated. Bryson was confirmed as Secretary of Commerce last October, having previously served as chairman and chief executive officer of Edison International, and on the boards of the Boeing Company and the Walt Disney Company, the parent company of ABC News. He and some of his classsmates from Yale law school formed the Natural Resources Defense Council in 1971.

-Jake Tapper

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