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Commerce official: John Bryson has 'limited recall' of crashes

June 11, 2012 |  1:48 pm


The seizure Secretary John Bryson suffered Saturday in connection with two hit-and-run crashes in the San Gabriel Valley was his first, a U.S. Commerce official said.

Authorities found Bryson, 68, unconscious in his Lexus after hitting two vehicles shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday, authorities said. He was cited for felony hit-and-run, but was not booked and was taken to a hospital.

The Commerce Department said Bryson suffered a seizure in connection with the hit-and-run crashes. The official said later the secretary had never had a seizure before and had a "limited recall of the events."

The official said Bryson remained in the hospital overnight for testing and observation, and flew back to Washington, D.C., on Sunday night after he was released. He was back in the office Monday but had no public events scheduled.

The rest of Bryson's schedule this week is "forthcoming," the official said, as the secretary "remains in touch with his doctors who are monitoring his progress."

Because Bryson does not have full recollection of the events, the official could not confirm when the seizure happened Saturday or what caused it.

Bryson was driving a Lexus in the 400 block of South San Gabriel Boulevard shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday when he allegedly rear-ended a Buick as it was waiting for a train to pass, authorities said.

After briefly stopping to talk to the three men inside the Buick, Bryson left the location in the Lexus and then struck the Buick a second time, authorities said. The men followed Bryson's car and called 911 to ask for police assistance, according to the police statement.

Bryson continued to drive his Lexus into Rosemead, which is patrolled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, authorities said. There, he allegedly crashed into a second vehicle with two people inside near the intersection of San Gabriel Boulevard and Hellman Avenue, they said.

Officers found him alone and unconscious behind the wheel of his car, authorities said.

Bryson was chairman of Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison, for 18 years until 2008. He was sworn in by President Obama as the head of the Commerce Department in October.

Bryson, who has a home in San Marino, was in Southern California to give the commencement address at Pasadena Polytechnic School on Thursday, which his four daughters once attended, school officials said. They have since graduated.


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-- Andrew Blankstein (twitter.com/anblanx) and Kate Mather (twitter.com/katemather)