June 11th, 2012
09:37 AM ET

Spokesperson: Commerce secretary involved in accidents had seizure

[Updated at 9:36 a.m. ET] U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, who was involved in traffic accidents this weekend,  had a seizure, according to the Director of Public Affairs for the Commerce Department.

"Secretary Bryson was involved in a traffic accident in Los Angeles over the weekend.  He suffered a seizure," according to spokeswoman Jennifer Friedman. " He was taken to the hospital for examination and remained overnight for observation.  He was released and has returned to Washington. The investigation is ongoing.  Secretary Bryson has no public events scheduled for today."

The Secretary was on personal time with no security detail, according to a Commerce official.  Bryson was driving his own vehicle, the official said.

The White House was notified about the incident on Sunday night, according to an Obama administration official.

[Posted at 9:00 a.m. ET] U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson is under investigation for possible felony hit-and-run after allegedly causing two car accidents within minutes of one another in southern California, a police spokesman told CNN early Monday.

Bryson was issued a citation at an area hospital after sustaining minor injuries in the accidents, said Lt. Ariel Duran of the San Gabriel Police Department. Authorities must still decide whether to formally file any charges.

"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," police said in a statement Sunday.

A preliminary alcohol screening of Bryson was negative, Duran said. Results from a blood alcohol test were pending, he said.

Commerce Department spokeswoman Jennifer Friedman said Bryson was involved in an accident, but was uninjured. He has been released from the hospital, Friedman said in a statement.

The accidents occurred Saturday evening, officials said.

Bryson, who was driving a Lexus, rear-ended a Buick occupied by three men that was stopped at a railroad crossing in San Gabriel, the police statement said Sunday.

"Bryson spoke with the males, then left the scene, hitting the same car again as he left," the statement said.

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  1. saywhat

    Hope this is not spur GOP into a pounce on Obama admn. Election year and all. They have brilliant minds , you know.
    The guy had a seizure.

    June 11, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. John V

    As a proud Conservative, I can tell you that there is no need to "pounce" on this event. B.O. has plenty of baggage of his own, and it doesn't take a "brilliant mind" to figure out that he has done a terrible job! Anybody with ANY sense at all would tell you that! His POLICIES are ruining this country, and no, it's not his skin tone, so don't even try going there!

    June 11, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Rico

      which policy was more terrible than the mess he inherited?

      June 11, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • s58

      As another proud conservative let's also not forget that Bush led us down this financial road. He s responsible for well over 50% of the deficit and the deregulation that caused the housing crisis.

      June 12, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. rondonaz

    I hope that this incident is not just whitewashed, but thoroughly investigated. Otherwise we have just seen the birth of the "siezure" defense for hit-and-runs. I've already read a liberal's defense of this, saying that the three occupants of the car were likely at fault, citing other cases where con artists jam on ;their brakes in front of expensive cars. I'm sure that some conservatives will make similar comments against Bryson. I just hope that the police rise above the pressure they must be getting from the administration to very clearly explain this to the public. If it is claimed to be a seizure, when exactly did it occur. Before the first rear-end collision? After that low-speed contact? After he drove to another city and hit another car? In fact, all of this can be legitimately explained by a seizure, but I'd just prefer that the public explanation be really thorough so that everyone can see that justice is blind and fair.

    June 11, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  4. Mark

    Rondonaz, he hit the same car twice. They can tell medically if someone has a seizure or not. Get a grip, man.

    June 11, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  5. Frank

    People of the United States of America,
    Look,I have been in a room when someone suffered a siezure(Grand Mal) and this person was out cold until they where revived.Since when does it take any real length time for the PD to get results of blood tests to determine DWI.
    Siezures have a root cause and doctors would not just release someone without putting them on anti-siezure medication to try an prevent another one.Someone this mans age they would or should have admitted him to hospital for major tests (MRI,EEG etc.) .To me it looks like a cover up.

    June 11, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • AlaskanFirst

      Several years ago I had my parked car rear ended by someone who experienced a gran mal seizure. When I ran to his car, he was awake but extremely disoriented and was very obviously not thinking properly. He repeatedly attempted putting his car into reverse to detangle it from my bumper. People can be awake, functioning, but be extremely disoriented while experiencing a seizure. And then, they won't remember it either.

      June 17, 2012 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Stef Fletcher

      ..so agree with you Frank!

      June 17, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. hannamomma

    Can anyone say cover up??????? If someone has suffered a seizure major or mini, they are not on an airplane in less than 24 hours.

    June 11, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  7. saywhat

    Pardon the typos folks. Pl read"it does not spur".
    @ John V
    Thanks for so concisely identifying the root cause of all our woes – Obama administration.
    Our policies for the past 11 years driven by a Congress devoid of intellect, vision and detached from the reality or sentiment on the ground. Solely running on partisan fuel and self preservation away from America and Americans. Administrations driven by foreign lobbies, special interests , corporations, MIC, a pre concieved , unreal and distorted view of the world beyond our borders. Let us pin all that on President Obama and be done.

    June 11, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  8. Galactic Cannibal

    "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," police said in a statement Sunday

    Once again the above is an example of the conditioning and dumbing down of the American masses. The fact is that 88% of all fatal and non fatal accidents by drivers of vehicles DO NOT involve Alcohol or illegal drugs.

    Still our country has a history of burying facts, or twisting facts to suit the Political and Media controllers of the masses . That is easy to accomplish when the vast majority of the American masses are poorly educated.

    June 11, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  9. PEDO BEAR

    The reports are going to come back showing he was sampling the Bath Salts. Quick! Send in Seal Team 6. Double Tap time!

    June 11, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  10. saywhat

    @Galactic Cannibal
    Agree on what you say about our 'free media' used as a tool to condition the masses. The past decade has seen this nation rendered like cattle.
    But in this age of info flowing freely to whoever desires to be kept informed, we appear starkly un-informed and mis-informed. Compared to people elsewhere. And thats our fault no body else's.

    June 11, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. saywhat

    @Pedo Bear
    I like that.lol

    June 11, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. monkeyjunction

    I hope this doesn't turn into another situation where the cover-up is more serious than the offense. No one was killed. No one was seriously hurt. If it had been Lindsay Lohan we all would have smiled and moved on to the next story.

    June 11, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Plucky Duck

    Last time i checked people with seizures are not suppose to be driving

    June 12, 2012 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
  14. phunk

    Lots of doctors commenting on this article today. (Sarcasm)

    June 12, 2012 at 5:10 am | Report abuse |
  15. fernace

    As a eldercare provider I cared for a couple who both had seizures! Both had benign brain hemangiomas, neither were allowed to drive,1 of the services I provided! Bryson better schedule a full physical & not drive for a while (or ever)!

    June 12, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |