Foremost Group CEO’s blood alcohol content nearly 3x the legal limit during fatal Tesla accident: report

Credit: Andrea Conway/X

A newly released report from the Blanco County Sheriff’s Office has shed some light on the circumstances surrounding the February death of Foremost Group CEO Angela Chao in her Tesla Model X. The report revealed that Chao had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.233, almost three times the 0.08 legal limit to drive in public roads in Texas. Such levels of alcohol can lead to impaired driving and other side effects. 

As per the authorities’ report, Chao had been spending a weekend getaway with seven friends at her 4,500-acre. Surveillance footage from a guest house reportedly showed the Foremost Group CEO unsteadily walking to her Model X that night. Chao reportedly intended to drive from the guest house to her main house, but she ended up driving into a man-made pond instead. 

Videos reportedly showed the Model X initially lurching forward, then reversing “without stopping and over the top of the limestone block wall.” Investigators noted that the Model X became “airborne after striking the wall then landed and rolled into the pond,” as noted in a CNBC report. Chao reportedly called her friend, Amber Landeau-Kienan, who was in the guesthouse, to say that she was in the lake. Some friends unsuccessfully attempted to extract Chao from the Model X, while another called 911. 

Authorities reportedly had some difficulty extracting the CEO from her ill-fated Model X despite an opened back passenger door, though they were finally able to remove her from the vehicle when they broke a side window. EMS responders delivered “advanced life support” for 43 minutes in an attempt to resuscitate Chao, but they were unsuccessful. Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Randy Brodbeck requested a toxicology report, but he did not ask for an autopsy, as noted in a USA Today report. 

The slow trickle of information from authorities in the days following Chao’s death, coupled with her prominent connections as the sister-in-law of US Senator Mitch McConnell, fueled speculations online. A statement from her father, Dr. James S.C. Chao, expressed the family’s grief and appreciation for the first responders who attempted to save her. Chao’s husband, Jim Breyer, a venture capitalist, also released a statement thanking emergency personnel. Senator McConnell himself cited his family’s loss as a factor in his decision to step down as minority leader.

While the incident has been dubbed by authorities as an unfortunate accident, some Tesla critics argued that the Model X’s touchscreen gear shifter could have played a factor in the tragedy. Initial reports of the incident from The Wall Street Journal, however, featured references to a 2020 Tesla Model X, which would still have a physical gear stalk. The Tesla Model X adopted a touch-based gear selector in 2021. 

Don’t hesitate to contact us with news tips. Just send a message to to give us a heads up.

Foremost Group CEO’s blood alcohol content nearly 3x the legal limit during fatal Tesla accident: report
To Top