Angela Chao Died after Accidentally Putting Tesla in Reverse as She Made Panicked Final Call from Submerged Car

Mitch McConnell's sister-in-law mistakenly shifted car into reverse gear, says report

Chao, the CEO of Foremost Group and sister of former US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, tragically lost her life in a car accident on February 11. Her Tesla was found submerged in a pond near her private ranch in Blanco County, Texas. Chao, aged 50, may have mistakenly shifted her car into reverse while attempting a three-point turn, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Authorities from Blanco County Sheriffs suggested that Chao might have drowned, but specific details about the incident remain under wraps. This has led to speculation, including concerns about the possibility of the Tesla being hacked, although it's unclear if the local sheriff's office has the technical capabilities to investigate such claims.

Crime Scene

While a preliminary investigation labeled the incident as an "unfortunate accident," the Sheriff's Office is treating it as a potential criminal case until sufficient evidence rules out foul play. Requests for comments from the Blanco County sheriffs were unanswered.

Insights gathered from individuals close to Chao, county officials, and law enforcement documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal revealed that the incident occurred during Chao's four-minute drive back to her ranch after celebrating Lunar New Year with friends.

Around 11:30 p.m., shortly after bidding farewell to her companions, Chao contacted one of them, revealing that her Tesla Model X SUV had ended up in the pond while attempting a three-point turn.

Chao reportedly informed her friend that she had mistakenly shifted her car into reverse instead of drive, a mistake she had made previously, causing her to back over an embankment and into the pond. Tesla did not respond to requests for comment outside regular working hours.

Experts have emphasized the critical window of about a minute for occupants to escape from a sinking vehicle. Following Chao's distress call, some friends and a ranch manager promptly responded.

However, due to the remote location and challenging terrain, emergency responders faced difficulties reaching the site, requiring some to traverse on foot. Upon retrieving the vehicle from the water, Chao was found unresponsive and subsequently pronounced deceased.

The tragic incident has prompted questions about the circumstances surrounding Angela Chao's untimely demise. Investigations are ongoing as authorities work to uncover the full details of the accident that claimed the life of the prominent businesswoman.