Former Commerce Secretary Bryson won’t be charged, citing confusion caused by a seizure
Prosecutors in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday declined to file criminal charges against former U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson, saying a seizure caused an unusual series of traffic collisions that led to his resignation. On June 9, Bryson’s vehicle hit a car that was stopped for a train in San Gabriel in Southern California. He spoke briefly with the three occupants then hit the car again as he departed, according to police. Bryson then hit another vehicle in a neighboring city a few minutes later. He was found unconscious in his Lexus.
The U.S. Department of Commerce said at the time Bryson had a “limited recall of the events” and had not suffered any previous seizures. The 68-year-old was cited by police for a felony hit-and-run, and tests revealed he didn’t’ have any alcohol or drugs in his system. Low doses of Ambien were found in his bloodstream, but investigators couldn’t determine if the sleep aid was a factor in the collisions. “Both treating doctors agree that suspect was suffering from confusion following a seizure and crashed as a result,” court documents say. “Based on doctors’ opinions there is insufficient evidence to show knowing failure to provide personal information for hit-and-run.” Bryson resigned as commerce secretary on June 21, saying he suffered a seizure and didn’t want his health to distract him from his job.