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Shipping Tycoon Angela Chao’s Intoxicated Tragedy

Shipping magnate Angela Chao was intoxicated when she accidentally backed her Tesla into a pond, resulting in her drowning last month at a Texas ranch, according to law enforcement.

The Blanco County Sheriff’s Office revealed that her blood alcohol content was nearly three times the state’s legal limit.

The 50-year-old met her demise after an evening gathering on February 10 with friends at the estate near Johnson City.

Her brother-in-law, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, referenced the incident in his resignation speech.

On Wednesday, the Blanco County Sheriff’s Office disclosed the results of its investigation, determining Ms. Chao’s death as an “unfortunate accident.”

She had invited seven former classmates from her Harvard Business School days to spend the weekend at the expansive 900-acre ranch.

As per the police report, they had attended a concert by rapper Pitbull in Austin the previous night.

Following dinner at the guest lodge on the fatal night, she was returning to the main house when the accident occurred during a three-point turn, causing the Model X SUV to reverse into the pond.

A friend, Amber Keinan, informed detectives that Ms. Chao had called her at 23:42, stating that the car was submerged in water, and she was trapped inside.

“Chao told Keinan the water was rising and she was going to die and said, ‘I love you,'” the report states. “Chao then said her goodbyes to Keinan.”

The conversation lasted for eight minutes.

The police report narrates the frantic efforts made by friends and authorities to rescue her, with some friends “screaming frantically” at the deputies from the pondside.

Eventually, officers smashed the driver’s side window of the submerged vehicle, retrieving Ms. Chao.

She was pronounced dead at 01:40 on February 11.

A toxicology test revealed her blood alcohol concentration to be 0.233 g/100 mL, well above the legal limit of 0.08 g/100 mL in Texas.

Ms. Chao served as chairwoman and chief executive of her family’s shipping business, the Foremost Group, which operates a global fleet of bulk carrier ships. The Chao family holds a net worth of $14.2 billion.

She was married to Jim Breyer, a billionaire venture capitalist.

Her elder sister, Elaine Chao, is married to Mr. McConnell and has served as transportation secretary under President Donald Trump and labor secretary under President George W. Bush.

Upon announcing his resignation as Senate minority leader, Mr. McConnell alluded to the impact of the tragedy on his family.

“When you lose a loved one, particularly at a young age, there’s a certain introspection that accompanies the grieving process,” the Kentucky senator expressed on the floor of the chamber.

Ms. Chao’s father, Dr. James Chao, conveyed in a statement provided to the Austin American-Statesman newspaper: “Angela’s passing was a terrible tragedy, and words cannot describe the family’s profound grief.”

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