U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson is taking a medical leave of absence after Obama administration officials on Monday said he suffered a seizure while driving Saturday in California and slamming into two cars.
Bryson was charged with felony hit-and-run for one accident in Los Angeles County. A few minutes later he hit a second car and was found unconscious behind the wheel. He was treated at a local hospital and released Sunday.
Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank has taken over as acting secretary, according to a Commerce Department statement issued Monday night. She previously served in that capacity when former secretary Gary Locke left to become ambassador to China.
Bryson said he will remain off the job until his medical situation is resolved.
Local law enforcement and administration officials have said that drugs or alcohol do not appear to have played a role in the accident.
Bryson was in California on personal business when he struck a Buick that had stopped for a passing train. He got out of the car and spoke to the men in the other vehicle. As he left, he struck the vehicle a second time. The men followed Bryson's car and called 911. Bryson then struck a Honda Accord a few minutes later. Officers reported he seemed "confused" after regaining consciousness. - Eric Kulisch