The U.S. commerce secretary was John Bryson cited for felony hit-and-run after two Los Angeles-area traffic crashes that left him injured and unconscious.
The San Gabriel Police Department, in a statement released early Monday, said a preliminary investigation indicates Bryson caused the first crash when his Lexus rear-ended a Buick in San Gabriel on Saturday at about 5:05 p.m. He hit it again when leaving the scene.
The second crash took place about five minutes later in nearby Rosemead, California, when Bryson allegedly hit a Honda Accord, according to the statement, which was issued along with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
When police arrived, according to the statement, Bryson was “alone and unconscious behind the wheel of his vehicle.”
Bryson, 68, was treated at a hospital following the crashes around 5 p.m. PDT Saturday, authorities said.
The Commerce Department said Bryson was on personal time and did not have any security detail at the time of the accidents. He was driving his own vehicle and was given medication to treat the seizure.
A Commerce Department spokeswoman said Bryson apparently suffered a seizure and was hospitalized overnight for examination. It was not immediately clear whether the seizure caused the collisions, or might have resulted from them.
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.
As secretary, Bryson has played a role as a member of the president’s economic team and has worked to promote job creation. He has also advised on energy issues, particularly in the clean energy sector.