HomeChinese AmericanAngela Chao called friend in panic as car sank into pond

Angela Chao called friend in panic as car sank into pond

A report from the Wall Street Journal says the sister of former Transportation and Labor Secretary Elaine Chao called her friend in a panic as her Tesla sank in a pond last month.

Authorities describe the death of Angela Chao in the Central Texas county of Blanco as an “unfortunate accident.” They believe Chao put the car in reverse instead of drive, but authorities have not ruled out foul play as the investigation is ongoing.

An incident report cited by the Journal indicate first responders and others at the scene tried unsuccessfully to break the window of the Tesla or find another way to get to Chao.

Deputies stood on the completely submerged car in the water during the rescue attempt. Efforts to reach a dive crew proved unsuccessful as a firefighter and other emergency workers entered the water with rescue tools.

The Austin Statesman-Journal obtained a three-page report from Blanco County Emergency Services.

“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. 

It took emergency workers 24 minutes to get to the scene after the initial emergency call. “Due to the terrain and accessibility,” CNN reports they had to walk to the accident scene.

“One EMS crew member donned water rescue PPE and entered the water with a Hallagan tool. One Firefighter entered the water wearing proper water PPE relaying tools to attempt rescue, several tools were used to attempt access to the victim,” the report said.

A tow truck that arrived at first did not have a cable long enough to pull the car out of the water, further stalling the rescue.

Chao is the sister-in-law of Senate Minority Leader Mitch O’Connell and one of five sisters of Elaine Chao.

McConnell announced he would retire from his position as minority leader weeks after the accident.

“When you lose a loved one, particularly at a young age, there is a certain introspection that accompanies the grieving process. Perhaps it is God’s way of reminding you of your own life’s journey to reprioritize the impact on the world that we will all inevitably leave behind,” he said.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Experts say:

    If your car enters deep water you have 30 seconds to 1 min to get out.
    1..forget.the phone
    2..unbuckle seatbelt
    3.roll down window. even electric Windows work for 30 secodns
    4. Swim out

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