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911 call offers witnesses' account of Bryson hit-and-runs

July 9, 2012 |  7:52 pm

John BrysonA 911 call released by San Gabriel police Monday offers an account by two men in a vehicle allegedly struck by then-Commerce Secretary John Bryson, who was described by the men as a "drunk driver."

The men, who called just after 5 p.m. June 9, reported being hit by a man in a black Lexus in San Gabriel.

"We have a drunk driver that just hit us and slid," one man, a passenger in the struck vehicle, said. "He hit us twice. We're actually pursuing him right now."

The men followed Bryson south on San Gabriel Boulevard, heading toward the 10 Freeway, and described in the four-minute recording what they saw.

"Oh, my God!" one of them said. "I hope he doesn't get on the freeway!"

Then, they said, he struck another vehicle.

"Don't move!" one of them called out to the driver of the hit vehicle. "He's drunk! Let him be. I have police on the phone."

Authorities said it turned out that Bryson, who resigned as commerce secretary about two weeks after the accidents, had suffered a seizure.

Los Angeles County prosecutors said last week that Bryson tested positive for a small amount of the sleep aid Ambien but concluded the seizure was the cause of the accidents.

Prosecutors did not file criminal charges in the hit-and-run collisions.


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Photo: Then-U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson was the 2012 commencement speaker at Polytechnic School in Pasadena on June 7. Credit: Walt Mancini / Pasadena Star-News