U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson, handpicked by President Obama in 2011, was found unconscious behind the wheel of a Lexus after he caused multiple car accidents in two different California cities on Saturday.
According to a written statement by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Bryson, 68, was allegedly behind the wheel of a Lexus that rear-ended a Buick stopped for a train in San Gabriel at around 5:05 p.m. PT. The statement alleges Bryson spoke with the three males in the car but then left the scene, hitting their car again as he drove away, according to a CBS report.
Bryson was "found alone and unconscious behind the wheel of his vehicle," after allegedly causing another accident in Rosemead a short time later.
Police say Bryson has now been formally cited in the hit-and-run, but it will be up to the district attorney's office to decide if criminal charges are filed.
Minor injuries were reported in the occupants of the other two cars however Bryson was not injured according to authorities.
A spokeswoman for the Commerce Department says Bryson was admitted to a hospital but released after the accidents.
"He has sustained no injuries and the investigation is ongoing," spokeswoman Jennifer Friedman told CBS News.
The Commerce Department and the White House added no comments on the incident.
David Axelrod, senior adviser to President Obama's re-election campaign, was on “CBS This Morning,” Monday, but provided no details.
"This news broke overnight, so I don't really have anything to contribute to that. Obviously it's concerning, but, you know, I'm not going to comment because I don't know any of the details," he said.
According to the police statement, which said the investigation was still in its preliminary stages, there were no signs that drug or alcohol use played a role in the crashes.
A CBS report claims the three men in the Buick from the first accident called police and followed Bryson's vehicle from the scene.
The Commerce Department's profile of Bryson has been the president's commerce secretary since October 2011, and the department’s website describes him as, "a key member of Mr. Obama's economic team working to implement the administration's top economic priority: accelerating job creation. He works to strengthen the economic recovery and U.S. competitiveness, and he serves as the voice for the business community in the President's Cabinet."
It is being widely reported that Bryson was having a seizure when the accidents occurred.