Student Who Vanished on 'Erratic' Road Trip Found Dead

Chris Liang's body was found in crashed Tesla
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2022 1:46 PM CST
Missing Student Found Dead in Crashed Tesla
Jerry Liang said his brother complained to friend about the vehicle malfunctioning.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

(Newser) – A missing University of San Francisco student has been found dead in the wreckage of the Tesla he rented for what his brother calls an impulsive and "erratic" road trip. In an Instagram post late last week, Jerry Liang said family members were extremely worried about 21-year-old Chris Liang, who hadn't been heard from since Monday, when he told them he planned to drive more than 400 miles from San Francisco to Irvine, Fox 11 reports. He said Chris—who was driving for the first time since getting his license in March last year—had missed the rental car date's return date Wednesday and his phone was inactive.

"The entire premise of this trip was pretty insane," Jerry Liang told CBS San Francisco. “He got his driver’s license last March. He’s never driven since. He’s never driven from NorCal all the way to SoCal. He’s never booked a hotel on his own." He said relatives were very worried because Chris struggles with mental health issues. He said he had received a strange text from his brother early Monday saying he was going to meet "with a friend to do something that really wasn’t within his boundaries to do for this friend." He said Chris said later Monday that he was at a charging station in Firebaugh, around 150 miles southeast of San Francisco.

Jerry Liang said his brother had complained to a friend about the Tesla malfunctioning for around 20 minutes. Chris Liang was confirmed dead late Saturday after his body was found in the overturned vehicle in a ravine near Los Banos, around 30 miles of west of Firebaugh, Fresno County Sheriff's Office spokesman Tony Scott tells SFGate. The California Highway Patrol said the vehicle "ran off the road for an unknown reason" and came off a cliff sometime between last Monday and Saturday. (Read more California stories.)

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