911 caller on Bryson: 'He's drunk'
July 9th, 2012
11:14 PM ET
10 years ago

911 caller on Bryson: 'He's drunk'

(CNN) - The passenger of a car hit last month by Commerce Secretary John Bryson thought Bryson was driving drunk, according to 911 recordings released Monday by the San Gabriel, California, Police Department. Police said a breathalyzer test proved otherwise.

"We have a drunk driver that just hit us and fled," the caller said, apparently unaware that the driver was a high-ranking member of the Obama administration. "He hit us twice. We're actually pursuing him right now."

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A breathalyzer test after the accident found no evidence of intoxication, Los Angeles police said last month.

The Commerce Department said Bryson suffered a seizure that led to the June 9 traffic incidents in San Gabriel, when Bryson hit two vehicles in the early evening.

The White House said on June 11 that the commerce secretary would take a leave of absence, and Bryson resigned 10 days later.

The locations of the two accidents provided by the unidentified 911 caller are approximately 1 1/2 miles apart.

Police said they found Bryson unconscious behind the wheel and cited him in connection with the traffic accidents.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said in early July that Bryson would not face any charges

The 911 caller, who described himself as a passenger in the first vehicle to be hit, said after the hit, Bryson "revved his engine and took off."

The caller said the first collision was serious enough to cause his head to hurt, but did not cause him to require medical attention.

Several drivers managed to box in Bryson's vehicle after it collided with the second car.

But while following Bryson's car down San Gabriel Boulevard and approaching the junction with Interstate 10, the caller described the less than steady course.

"He just hit the center divider again right now on the highway," he said. "Oh my God, I hope he doesn't get on the freeway."

Filed under: California • White House
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Candy Taylor

    The man had a seizure. What is the point of this inflammatory headline? I know you are proud of your ethical journalism.

    July 9, 2012 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  2. 100 % ETHIO

    The Law is for everyone.

    July 10, 2012 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  3. 100 % ETHIO

    Did he did the same before?

    July 10, 2012 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  4. Thomas

    if you have ever seen somebody having a seizure , they can look as if there on something.

    He past the breathalyzer test.

    July 10, 2012 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  5. steven harnack

    "apparently unaware that the driver was a high-ranking member of the Obama administration", What? You mean that they didn't know the names, occupations and employers of every other person driving on the streets of their city? Why in the heck WOULD they know anything about some other driver? This is a really lame article and I can't see any reason for it except to plant a smear in people's minds about the current administration.

    July 10, 2012 01:24 am at 1:24 am |

    The guy had a stroke. So what?

    July 10, 2012 05:22 am at 5:22 am |
  7. gt

    his driving was like how he ran the commerce department....like a drunk...

    July 10, 2012 05:33 am at 5:33 am |
  8. Anders Perillo

    Of course he was drunk. Nice cover up by the administration on this.

    July 10, 2012 06:41 am at 6:41 am |