U.S. Commerce secretary investigated for hit-and-run car crash

WASHINGTON Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:24am EDT

1 of 2. John Bryson, the new U.S. Commerce Secretary, smiles after he was introduced by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to guests at the APEC Ministers' dinner at the Shangri-La in Honolulu, Hawaii November 10, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Yuriko Nakao

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson is being investigated for several hit-and-run car crashes in Southern California on Saturday that police say appear to have been caused by the Obama administration official.

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.

Bryson was found unconscious behind the wheel at the scene of the second crash, police said. Paramedics treated him at the crash site and he was admitted to a local hospital for non-lethal injuries, police said. Passengers in the other cars had no major injuries.

Police said so far "there is no indication that alcohol or drugs played a role in the collisions." They added that Bryson and others were cooperative with the investigation.

Representatives for the Commerce Department said they would issue a statement soon. Representatives for the White House had no immediate comment.

According to CNN, the Commerce Department has acknowledged that Bryson was involved in a car crash. He has been released from the hospital, the television network said, citing a department spokeswoman.

A former utility executive, Bryson has served as Obama's secretary of Commerce since October 2011, according to the department's website that also touts him as a key member of the president's economic team.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Eric Beech)

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Comments (8)
Ezekial1258 wrote:
Great story, well written, informative, pertinent to current events… This story has it all folks.

Jun 11, 2012 8:11am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Nunyr wrote:
No worries. He won’t face any charges. His political position guarantees that.

Jun 11, 2012 9:25am EDT  --  Report as abuse
USAPragmatist wrote:
Something strange is going on here, 2 wrecks in 5 minutes and no indication of alcohol or drugs, maybe some sort of medical condition?

Jun 11, 2012 9:32am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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