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Shipping CEO Angela Chao, sister of former Cabinet member Elaine Chao, died after car became submerged in pond, WSJ reports

CNN  —  Angela Chao, CEO of shipping company Foremost Group and sister of former US cabinet secretary Elaine Chao, died after her car became submerged in a pond on a Central Texas ranch last month, according to the Wall Street Journal and a report from Blanco County Emergency Services obtained by the Austin American-Statesman. Chao’s Tesla Model X SUV went over an embankment and into a pond when she put the car in reverse instead of drive during a three-point turn shortly before midnight on February 10, the Wall Street Journal reports. Emergency workers arrived on the scene 24 minutes after receiving a 911 call, but “due to the terrain and accessibility,” the crew had to walk to the location of the pond before they could begin attempts to rescue Chao, according to the incident report from a Blanco County first responder. “The two deputies who were in the water standing on the submerged vehicle requested tools to break the window of the vehicle to perform a possible rescue. 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. According to the report, emergency workers contacted dispatch requesting a dive team to the scene for the “completely submerged” vehicle, but none were available. A tow truck was initially unable to reach the vehicle with tow chains from the opposite bank of the pond because the chains couldn’t reach, the report said. According to the Wall Street Journal, a longer cable was eventually garnered, and the car was pulled from the pond. At least one tow truck driver had expressed concerns about working with the vehicle, according to the Wall Street Journal, afraid the electric car could pose an electrocution hazard, even though such vehicles are designed not to pose an electric shock risk, even when submerged. First responders soon retrieved Chao from her vehicle and began resuscitation efforts but were unsuccessful, according to the Wall Street Journal. Neither the Blanco County Emergency Services, Blanco County Sheriff’s Office, nor Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office have responded to CNN’s request for comment and additional information. In a letter to Paxton’s office obtained by the Austin American-Statesman, the Blanco County Public Information Office said it was limiting what it released to the media because, “although the preliminary investigation indicated that this was an unfortunate accident, the Sheriff’s Office is still investigating this accident as a criminal matter until they have sufficient evidence to rule out criminal activity.” Angela Chao was one of five sisters of Elaine Chao, who served as labor secretary under President George W. Bush and transportation secretary under President Donald Trump. Elaine Chao is the wife of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.