Angela Chao’s Fatal Car Accident: Police Report Confirms Intoxication

Calista Alma
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March 22, 2024

According to a police report released on Wednesday, Angela Chao, the CEO of a shipping company and member of a prominent American political family, was found to be legally intoxicated when she drove her Tesla into a pond in Texas last month, resulting in her death.

The report, issued by the Blanco County Sheriff’s Office, depicts a frantic scene as friends and deputies attempted to rescue Ms. Chao from the sinking vehicle at a family ranch in Johnson City, Texas. Earlier that night, after dinner with friends at a guest lodge on the ranch, Ms. Chao, 50, reversed her Tesla into the pond, as recounted in the report.

Earlier in the evening, as per the report, Ms. Chao, aged 50, had dinner with friends at a guest lodge on the ranch. Around 11:30 p.m., guests started heading back to their accommodations or homes. It was then that Ms. Chao got into her Tesla and backed it into the pond, according to the report.

A friend informed investigators that at 11:42 p.m., Ms. Chao called her to report her car being submerged in the pond, unable to free herself from it. The situation grew dire as the water level rose. Ms. Chao expressed her love before the Tesla submerged, with the call lasting approximately eight minutes.

Witnesses rushed to her aid. One friend kayaked towards the Tesla, while another swam to the vehicle and climbed on top, searching for Ms. Chao. At 11:55 p.m., a third friend contacted 911 and remained on the line for 11 minutes, the report outlines.

Upon the arrival of law enforcement and firefighters, attempts were made to enter the car submerged in the cold water. A deputy broke the driver’s side window, going underwater to locate Ms. Chao. Despite being brought ashore, emergency responders were unable to revive her, and she was pronounced dead at 1:40 a.m. on Feb. 11. The report reveals that Ms. Chao’s blood alcohol concentration was 0.233 grams per 100 milliliters, exceeding the legal limit in Texas.

The report concludes that Ms. Chao’s death was deemed an “unfortunate accident” following a comprehensive review of the evidence.

A spokesperson for her father, James S.C. Chao, and the Chao family conveyed in a statement their profound grief over the tragedy. They expressed gratitude towards the first responders and friends who attempted to rescue her.

Ms. Chao served as the chair and chief executive of the family’s Foremost Group since 2018, overseeing a global fleet of bulk carrier ships. She was the sister of Elaine Chao, who held cabinet positions under former Presidents Donald J. Trump and George W. Bush. Elaine Chao is married to Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

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