John Bryson, the US commerce secretary who was cited for a hit-and-run after two crashes in Los Angeles, suffered a seizure while driving, US officials have said.
Mr Bryson, a key member of President Barack Obama’s economic team, was found unconscious at the wheel of his car after three collisions in a matter of minutes in Los Angeles.
His office later said the 68-year-old had suffered a seizure and had recovered after an overnight stay in hospital. He was not arrested.
A Los Angele police spokesman said: “We did cite him for felony hit-and-run. Later, the case will be submitted to the District Attorney’s office, which will make a determination on what they are going to charge him with.”
Mr Bryson, who was in California to give an address at a school, was driving his personal Lexus car without a security detail.
He collided with another car, a Buick, at a railroad crossing at 5.05pm on Saturday. He spoke with the other driver to exchange details, but then hit the Buick again as he left.
Five minutes later Mr Bryson was involved in another minor collision and was found unconscious and alone in his vehicle.
Police said there was no indication of alcohol or drugs being a factor and occupants of the other cars suffered only minor injuries.
Mr Bryson is the former head of Southern California’s main electricity supplier and has served on the boards of Boeing and Disney.
He was sworn in as head of the Commerce Department by President Obama in October last year with a brief to accelerate job creation, and to serve as a voice for the business community in the president’s cabinet.