A Mistake in a Tesla and a Panicked Final Call: The Death of Angela Chao

A Mistake in a Tesla and a Panicked Final Call: The Death of Angela Chao

Mitch McConnell’s sister-in-law, Angela Chao, tragically drowned in her Tesla after the vehicle’s reinforced glass proved unbreakable when she reversed into a pond.

Angela Chao, the CEO of shipping company Foremost Group, lost her life last month after her car entered a private ranch pond in Texas. Shocking details have surfaced about the frantic rescue mission to save the 50-year-old.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Chao drove her Tesla home from an evening with friends but accidentally put the car in reverse. Attempts to break into the vehicle were futile due to the strengthened glass used in the Model X’s windows and sunroof, proven nearly impossible to break underwater according to testing by the American Automobile Association.

Making a three-point turn before the accident, Chao mistakenly put the car in reverse instead of drive, sending it into a pond. Despite her panicked call to a friend, rescuers struggled for hours to save her.

One friend jumped into the pond shortly after her call, and responders arrived on the scene 24 minutes later. The vehicle was completely submerged, with some deputies from a sheriff’s department standing on it as they attempted the rescue.

The rescue involved setting up lighting, bringing in dive teams, and a tow truck. However, the truck lacked a long enough cable to reach the car, and the driver was hesitant about potential electrocution.

After the vehicle was finally pulled from the water, hundreds of gallons rushed out as doors were opened, revealing Chao unresponsive. Paramedics attempted resuscitation for 43 minutes.

The tragic incident is now part of a criminal investigation, according to the Blanco County Sheriff’s Office. In a letter to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the office stated, "Although the preliminary investigation indicated this was an unfortunate accident, the Sheriff’s Office is still investigating this accident as a criminal matter until they have sufficient evidence to rule out criminal activity."

In response to the Wall Street Journal’s reporting, Chao’s husband expressed heartbreak. Angela Chao’s father, James S.C. Chao, described her as "thoughtful, kind, and devoted," a "charismatic and visionary leader," and a trailblazer for women in the executive suite.

Angela Chao was the sister of McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, who served as secretary of both the Labor and Transportation departments. McConnell announced last month that he would be stepping down as the Republican leader in the Senate later this year.

Addressing the Senate floor, McConnell stated, "This has been a particularly difficult time for my family. We tragically lost Elaine’s younger sister Angela, just a few weeks ago. When you lose a loved one, particularly at a young age, there’s a certain introspection that accompanies the grieving process."

Angela Chao was married to Jim Breyer, part owner of the Boston Celtics and a former board member of companies like Facebook, Walmart, Marvel, News Corp, and Dell.

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