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Commerce Secretary John Bryson taking medical leave after crashes

June 11, 2012 |  7:25 pm

U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson will take a medical leave after being involved in two San Gabriel Valley hit-and-run crashes, the White House announced Monday night.

“Secretary Bryson informed the White House tonight that he will be taking a medical leave of absence from his position as Commerce secretary as he undergoes tests and evaluations. The president’s thoughts are with Secretary Bryson and his family during this time. Secretary Bryson assured the White House that the Commerce Department staff will not miss a beat in their work helping America’s businesses compete," Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary, said.

Authorities found Bryson, 68, unconscious at the wheel of 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. He was taken to a hospital.

Commerce Department spokeswoman Jennifer Friedman confirmed the information to The Times on Monday.

"Secretary Bryson was involved in a traffic accident in Los Angeles over the weekend. He suffered a seizure," Friedman said in a statement. "He was taken to the hospital for examination and remained overnight for observation. He was released and has returned to Washington."

A Commerce official said later that Bryson had never had a seizure before and had "limited recall of the events." He remains in contact with doctors, the official said.

An investigation into the crash is ongoing.


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

Commerce Secretary John Bryson given medication after seizure

MAP: Commerce Secretary involved in San Gabriel Valley car accidents

-- Kathleen Hennessey in Washington; Andrew Blankstein and Kate Mather in L.A.

Photo: AFP / Getty Images