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