Commerce Secretary Bryson hospitalized for ‘seizure,’ says spokeswoman

Olivier Knox
The Ticket

U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, who was cited for felony hit-and-run in California over the weekend, was hospitalized for a seizure but has been released and is back in Washington, a spokeswoman said Monday.

"Secretary Bryson was involved in a traffic accident in Los Angeles over the weekend. He suffered a seizure," said Commerce Department Director of Public Affairs Jennifer Friedman in a statement.

"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," Friedman said.

A Commerce Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Bryson "was on personal time with no security detail. He was driving his own vehicle. He was given medication to treat the seizure." It was not immediately clear what the nature of the seizure was, nor whether the seizure caused the incident or resulted from it.

David Axelrod, senior strategist with President Barack Obama's re-election campaign, told "CBS This Morning" on Monday that the incident was "concerning," but he offered no new details. "This news broke overnight, so I don't really have anything to contribute to that. Obviously it's concerning," said Axelrod. Bryson allegedly caused two separate car accidents in the space of five minutes in Southern California late Saturday afternoon. Bryson was at the wheel of his Lexus when he rear ended a Buick that was stopped at a railroad crossing in San Gabriel, according to the San Gabriel Police Department. He spoke with the Buick's male occupants, then drove away, "hitting the same car again as he left," said a police statement. The men tailed Bryson and called police. They also witnessed the secretary hit a second car.

When police arrived, according to the statement, Bryson was "alone and unconscious behind the wheel of his vehicle." Bryson was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital, where officers cited him for felony hit-and-run.

Dylan Stableford contributed reporting.