In a joint statement released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the San Gabriel Police Department, U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson is being investigated for a possible felony hit-and-run charge after being treated at an unnamed hospital following involvement in two separate accidents over the weekend. The first car accident occurred last Saturday around 5:00 p.m. on South San Gabriel Boulevard when the Secretary allegedly rear-ended a vehicle stopped at a train crossing.
After getting out of his vehicle he exchanged words with the driver of the other car and then got back into his car and instead of pulling over to exchange information he backed up his car hitting the other vehicle once more before leaving the scene. The second car accident transpired a short while later on San Gabriel Boulevard and Hellman Avenue when he struck a second vehicle. Police arrived to find him unconscious behind the steering wheel of his car.
The first vehicle involved followed Mr. Bryson's vehicle to the second accident scene and said he had seemed rather confused when he got out of his vehicle after the first accident. Mr. Bryson was briefly hospitalized with injuries described as non-life-threatening while the occupants of the first car were treated for minor injuries at the scene. The two occupants of the second vehicle declined medical treatment.
Secretary Bryson announced on Monday he would be taking a medical leave of absence to focus on medical tests and evaluations after he suffered a seizure around the time of the accidents. It is not clear whether he suffered the seizure before, during or after the accidents. Both accidents are still being investigated for possible charges.
Luckily, no one was seriously injured in either car accident so these incidents may just serve to remind the public of the dangers of seizures and other medical conditions while driving. It was reported that this was the Mr. Bryson's first seizure however a full medical evaluation will be required to learn the cause of the seizure and whether or not his medical condition could affect his ability to drive in the future.
If someone has a known condition that prevents them from being able to legally drive and chooses to drive anyway, they could be held liable for any injuries or damages incurred as a result of their actions.
Source: San Gabriel Valley Tribune, "Official: Commerce Secretary Bryson suffered 'seizure' before alleged San Gabriel hit-and-run," Brian Day and Brenda Gazzar, June 11, 2012