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HomeGeneralNew Details Reveal Authorities Tried to Rescue Texas-Based CEO Angela Chao From...

New Details Reveal Authorities Tried to Rescue Texas-Based CEO Angela Chao From Submerged Tesla

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Texas-Based CEO Angela Chao
Source: Global Maritime Forum/YouTube

Angela Chao, who was a CEO in the shipping industry and the sister-in-law of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, passed away on a Texas ranch last month. As reported by The Wall Street Journal, her car went into a pond and stayed underwater for a long time.

Chao is believed to have possibly drowned after her car went into a body of water on a private ranch in Texas. However, the exact cause of her death was yet to be confirmed. However, in the following weeks, reporters at the Austin American-Statesman, part of the USA TODAY Network, have gathered the details of the incident. 

They revealed an hours-long, desperate attempt to save the life of the CEO. Local officials have been reluctant to share details about the incident but denied the presence of a criminal investigation in a recent interview.

“It’s always been an unfortunate accident. We have not seen a single thing that would make us believe otherwise,” said Robert Woodring, chief deputy for the Blanco County sheriff’s office.

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Just before midnight on February 11th, deputies rushed to a private address near Austin, Texas, after they received a water rescue call. The property owner shares an address with Chao’s husband’s public equity firm.

Within the next 30 minutes, EMS responders, deputies, and firefighters arrived at the scene, as shared in a report by a firefighter obtained by the Statesman. An emergency official mentioned that the car was “completely submerged” with someone inside. The Associated Press and the Wall Street Journal reported that the vehicle involved was a Tesla.

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“The deputies were in the water standing on what they believed was the vehicle, trying to gain access to the possible victim inside the vehicle,” wrote fire Lt. Royce Penshorn in the report.

Other crew members searched the pond’s banks for other potential victims and set up lighting. Soon after, a tow truck arrived, but the chains couldn’t reach the car from the banks, as reported by Penshorn.

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Meanwhile, the deputies standing on the vehicle attempted to break into it using various tools, including a pike pole and a Halligan bar, the report stated. It took about an hour before they were able to reach Chao.

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Rescuers managed to pull her from the vehicle around 12:56 a.m., according to EMS Chief Benjamin Oakley. EMS responders provided “advanced life support” for 43 minutes in an attempt to resurrect her. Unfortunately, despite their efforts, Chao was pronounced dead at the scene.

Penshorn’s report mentioned that no dive team was available to be sent to the ranch. Oakley explained that no emergency response agencies in Blanco County have dive teams, so they rely on teams from neighboring counties when needed.

Angela Chao was known for her leadership in the shipping industry and was succeeded by her father, Dr. James S.C. Chao, who founded the company. Angela was a Harvard graduate, an author, and married to venture capitalist Jim Breyer. Her sister, Elaine Chao, served as transportation and labor secretary under past administrations. Sadly, her death has left a massive void in both her family and the business world.

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