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Angela Chao, McConnell’s sister-in-law, was three times above legal limit in fatal accident, police say

By 37ci3 Mar21,2024

Angela Chao, sister-in-law of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and CEO of the shipping industry, was drunk. he went into a pond last month and died in Texas, according to a law enforcement report released Wednesday.

An investigation by the Blanco County Sheriff’s Office concluded Death of Chao was an “unfortunate accident” and his blood-alcohol level was nearly three times the state’s legal limit.

Chao, 50, died on the night of February 10 after having dinner with a large group at a ranch near Johnson City, west of Austin. The report described a frantic scene as friends and deputies tried to pull Chao out of his Tesla after backing it into a pond near a guest house on his property.

Friend Amber Keinan told detectives that Chao called her at 11:42 p.m. to say the car was in water and she was trapped inside. The conversation continued for 8 minutes as the car sank slowly.

“Chao told Keinan that the water was rising and he was going to die and said, ‘I love you,'” the report said. “Chao then said goodbye to Keinan.”

This undated photo provided by Foremost Group shows a portrait of Angela Chao, CEO and chairman of Foremost Group, her family's shipping business, and president of Foremost Foundations, her father's charity.
Angela Chao.Foremost Group via AP

According to reports, the friends swam to the car, while the other got out in a kayak. At 11:55 p.m., someone else called 911 and stayed on the phone for 11 minutes.

When law enforcement officers and firefighters arrived, they attempted to enter the Tesla by wading into the water, the report said. They smashed out the driver’s side window and the deputy felt around until he found Chao’s hand.

Emergency crews extricated him from the car and brought him to shore, and he was pronounced dead at 1:40 a.m. on February 11.

A toxicology test determined Chao’s blood alcohol concentration level was 0.233 grams per 100 milliliters, which is more than the legal limit in Texas of 0.08.

Chao was chairman and CEO of the Foremost Group, his family’s shipping business, and president of the Foremost Foundation, his father’s charity. He lived in Austin, about 50 miles east of Blanco County.

Chao was the youngest of six siblings of immigrant parents who moved to the United States from China in the late 1950s. His older sister, Elaine Chao, is married to McConnell and served as transportation secretary under President Donald Trump and labor secretary under President George W. Bush.

“Angela’s name in Chinese sounds like symbols of peace and prosperity,” her father, James SC Chao, said in a statement to the family shortly after her death. “His absence leaves a void not only in our hearts, but in the Asian-American community as well.”

After his death, his father was elected chairman of Foremost Group. Former president Michael Lee became president.

Chao is survived by his wife, father and four sisters.

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By 37ci3

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