Angela Chao Was Drunk When She Drowned In Her Tesla, Called A Friend To Say 'I Love You': Report

Image: Tradewinds Shipowners Forum
Image: Tradewinds Shipowners Forum

According to new reports surrounding the death of Angela Chao last month, the billionaire’s blood-alcohol concentration was around 0.233 grams per 100 mililiters at the time of her death, which is nearly three times the legal limit to operate a motor vehicle, 0.08 g/ml. Chao had reportedly switched her Tesla Model X into reverse instead of drive, backing over a retaining wall and sinking into a pond.

She had been hosting a dinner for a group of women in the guest lodge of her sprawling Texas ranch, and had planned to drive from one building on the property to another because it was cold.

As her electric crossover was sinking into the pond, Chao managed to call a friend who had attended the dinner just inside the building.


According to Business Insider:

“In a calm voice, Chao informs Keinan she is not able to get out of the vehicle,” the police report said, citing an interview with Landeau-Keinan. “Chao told Keinan the water was rising and she was going to die and said ‘I love you’ to Keinan prior to the vehicle going underwater.”

The phone call lasted about 8 minutes, Landeau-Keinan told an investigating officer.

Based on the timeline provided by the police report, Chao walked out of the building at 11:37 PM, and placed the call to Keinan at 11:42 already in the water. Police arrived on the scene at around midnight, and it took responders until 12:56 AM to extricate her from the car and bring the already-deceased woman to shore.

The most important thing I can provide here is a quick note on what to do if your car is ever submerged in a body of water. It’s important to remain calm as Chao seemingly had, but the first thing you need to do before the car goes completely under is to roll down your window. The weight of the water will make it difficult or impossible to open your door, so you’ll need to get out through the open window, and you definitely won’t be able to smash it open. Get your seatbelt off and get out of the car, then swim as far away from the sinking car as possible.

If, for some reason, you can’t get the window open, you’ll have to wait until the car is full of water to open the door, as the pressure inside will have equalized to the pressure outside, and it should open at that point. Hopefully you’re good at holding your breath.

This is also a good opportunity to mention that you shouldn’t operate heavy machinery of any kind, but especially not cars, after you’ve spent the evening drinking heavily. Even if Chao wasn’t leaving the property and driving on public roads, the danger involved simply isn’t worth the risk.

In a statement, a spokesperson for James S. C. Chao, Angela’s father, and family said: “Angela’s passing was a terrible tragedy, and words cannot describe the family’s profound grief. The family is grateful for the first responders and friends who tried so hard to save her.”

For the latest news, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.