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Angela Chao's Blood Alcohol Level Was Triple Legal Limit Before She Mistakenly Reversed into a Pond: Report

In February authorities discovered Chao, the sister-in-law of Mitch McConnell, submerged in a pond on a private Texas ranch after a quick drive across the property turned fatal

Angela Chao, the sister-in-law of Mitch McConnell and sister of Elaine Chao
Angela Chao, the sister-in-law of Mitch McConnell and sister of Elaine Chao

More details have been released about the death of Angela Chao, a business executive and sister-in-law of Mitch McConnell, who was recovered from a pond in February following a reported accident.

According to a new incident report obtained by PEOPLE, the 50-year-old international shipping CEO was at a Texas ranch with seven close friends for a girls' weekend. On Feb. 10, while returning to her lodge after having dinner and drinks across the property, she accidentally put her Tesla X into reverse, backing the vehicle into a stock pond and ultimately drowning before rescue crews could reach her.

Though an autopsy was not performed on Chao, a toxicology test revealed that her blood alcohol concentration was 0.233, nearly triple the legal limit to drive in Texas.

"After reviewing all of the evidence, it was determined to be an unfortunate accident," concludes Blanco County Sheriff's Investigator Adam Acosta in the final report.

Related: Angela Chao, Business Executive and Sister-in-Law of Mitch McConnell, Dead in Car Accident at Age 50

<p>Frazer Harrison/Getty </p> Angela Chao attends the AFI Awards Luncheon in Los Angeles with husband Jim Breyer one month before her death

Frazer Harrison/Getty

Angela Chao attends the AFI Awards Luncheon in Los Angeles with husband Jim Breyer one month before her death

Chief Deputy Robert Woodring with the Blanco County Sheriff's Office said in an initial statement that officers "responded to a possible water rescue on a private ranch located in Blanco County, TX" late that night.

"On arrival Blanco County deputies along with Blanco County EMS and Fire recovered the body of Angela Chao from a pond on the ranch. EMS attempted emergency measures on Ms. Chao but she succumbed from being under the water," he said.

Though a preliminary investigation determined it to be an accident, the sheriff's office told Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, per NBC News, that it was "not a typical accident" and that the office was investigating it as "a criminal matter until they have sufficient evidence to rule out criminal activity."

“Releasing the reports, videos and other information prior to the completion of the investigation would interfere with the investigation and possible prosecution of this matter,” the Sheriff's Office reportedly wrote late last month.

Related: Mitch McConnell's Sister-in-Law Angela Chao Called a Friend Before Her Death in Tesla on Texas Ranch: Report

The final incident report states that Chao called a friend from her vehicle to tell her that she was trapped and that the water was beginning to rise.

Throughout the eight-minute call, the report details, Chao maintained a "calm voice," ultimately concluding that she was going to die and telling her friend, "I love you." One friend jumped into the pond and another kayaked over the vehicle, but they could not find a way to get her out, per the report.

Related: Mitch McConnell, 82, to Step Down as Republican Senate Leader After Reaching Historic Milestone

<p>Jacquelyn Martin/AP</p> Angela Chao, far right, at the swearing-in of her brother-in-law Mitch McConnell on Jan. 6, 2015

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Angela Chao, far right, at the swearing-in of her brother-in-law Mitch McConnell on Jan. 6, 2015

Chao was the CEO of dry bulk shipping company Foremost Group, a company founded by her father, Dr. James S.C. Chao, along with her mother, the late Ruth Mulan Chu Chao, in 1964. She attended Harvard Business School, where she wrote a ground-breaking case study on ocean carriers that remains part of the required curriculum for first year HBS students.

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Her older sister, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, is married to McConnell. Elaine served as the U.S. Secretary of Labor in the George W. Bush administration and as the Secretary of Transportation in Donald Trump’s cabinet, from 2017 to 2021.

Related: Mitch McConnell and Elaine Chao: All About the Politicians' Decades-Long Marriage

Chao's death was announced by her family in a statement in February. Writing on behalf of the Chao family, her father, James, called his daughter "a brilliant woman, a charismatic and visionary leader and much-loved by all her sisters, our entire family and friends."

"As a daughter, sister, mother, aunt, wife and friend, she was unfailingly filial, thoughtful, kind and devoted," James said. "These qualities were complemented by a spirited personality, exceptional intelligence, compassion for all and a wonderful sense of humor. She kept us laughing and smiling. She believed deeply that the true treasures in life are family, friends and helping others. Losing her at such a young age is something we never even imagined, and our entire family is devastated with grief."

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