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Angela Chao was drunk when she drove into pond and died, police say

The shipping industry CEO and Mitch McConnell's sister-in-law died Feb. 10 after backing her Tesla into a pond.
Angela Chao was drunk when she drove into pond and died, police say
Posted at 5:43 PM, Mar 20, 2024

Angela Chao, a shipping industry CEO and sister-in-law to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, was intoxicated when she drove into a pond and died last month in Texas, according to a law enforcement report released Wednesday.

The investigation by the Blanco County Sheriff's Office concluded that Chao's death was an "unfortunate accident" and her blood alcohol level was nearly three times the state's legal limit.

Chao, 50, died the night of Feb. 10 after having dinner with a large group at a ranch in Johnson City, west of Austin. The report describes a frantic scene as friends and deputies tried to pull Chao from her Tesla after she backed it into the water.

A friend told detectives that Chao called her at 11:42 p.m. and said the car was in the pond and she was trapped inside.

SEE MORE: Angela Chao died after her Tesla backed into a pond, reports say

Law enforcement officials and firefighters eventually managed to pull her out of the vehicle and to shore, where she was pronounced dead at 1:40 a.m. on Feb. 11. A toxicology test determined that Chao had a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.233 grams per 100 milliliters, above the legal limit in Texas of .08 grams per 100 milliliters, the report said.

Chao was the chair and CEO of her family's shipping business, the Foremost Group, and the president of her father's philanthropic organization, the Foremost Foundation. She lived in Austin, which is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Blanco County.

Her eldest sibling, Elaine Chao, is married to McConnell and served as transportation secretary under President Donald Trump and labor secretary under President George W. Bush.

Chao is survived by her husband, father and four sisters.


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