A White House spokesperson has announced that a US cabinet member has been involved in a trio of auto accidents and has received medical leave. The Secretary of Commerce, John Bryson, was found in an unconscious state at the wheel of his vehicle following a series of auto accidents which all occurred on the same day. Some reports suggest the 68-year-old suffered from a seizure while other state that concussion from the first auto accident led to the second and third accidents.
It’s thought that the initial auto accident was a hit-and-run but the police suspect that the cabinet member was at fault for causing all three crashes. At this stage, Bryson has been treated for minor injuries and has returned to Washington. A statement has been released by his department saying Bryson spoke with President Obama on Monday regarding medical leave, stating that he needed to “focus all of [his] attention on resolving the health issues that arose over the weekend”. He did not mention how long this would be for, only that he would not be performing his usual functions and duties over this time.
The White House spokesperson stated that, during the course of the phone call, President Obama encouraged Bryson to focus his thoughts on his own and his family’s health. Rebecca Blank, Bryson’s deputy, will be stepping up in his absence. The White House spokesperson told members of the press that Bryson had not suffered from a seizure at the time and that he currently had limited recollection of the events which took place. President Obama’s thoughts are said to be with Bryson and his family. Tests will be undergone to properly evaluate Bryson’s health while during his absence. Secretary Bryson has made assurances to the White House that the Commerce Department staff will not miss a beat in “helping America’s businesses compete” in the global economy.
At the scene of the auto accident, Bryson initiated a dialogue with three males, subsequently leaving the scene, but apparently hit the car again as he did so. This was reported in a media release from San Gabriel police and also the County Sheriff Department in Los Angeles. The Buick then followed Bryson’s Lexus, a move which saw the occupants calling the police. The drivers have currently not been tracked down. Later, Bryson was involved in a third auto accident with a Honda vehicle as he crossed into the nearby city of Rosemead. It was here he was found unconscious at his wheel. Investigations are preliminary, but it’s thought that Bryson caused this auto accident too. Police have stated that there was no indication of either alcohol or drug use.