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Ex-US Commerce Secretary got special treatment after car crash, says driver

July 6, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
The driver of the car that then-U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson hit twice says he believes Bryson got preferential treatment.

This week, Los Angeles County prosecutors declined to file charges against Bryson, saying doctors determined he was disoriented after suffering a seizure.

Bryson's Lexus struck a car on June 9 that was stopped for a train in San Gabriel. He spoke briefly with the three occupants, and then hit the car again as he departed, police said. Bryson then rammed another vehicle in a neighboring city a few minutes later. He was found unconscious in his vehicle.

Driver Rich Sanchez said Bryson seemed confused and glassy-eyed after the collision. Sanchez said he isn't going to file a lawsuit, but does believe Bryson got special consideration because of his position.

The Commerce Department said at the time that Bryson had a "limited recall of the events" and had not suffered any previous seizures.

Bryson was cited by police for felony hit-and run, and tests revealed he didn't have any alcohol or drugs in his system. Low amounts of Ambien were found in his bloodstream, but investigators couldn't determine if the sleep aid was a factor in the collisions.

The 68-year-old resigned as commerce secretary on June 21, saying then he had suffered a seizure and didn't want his health to be a distraction from his job.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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