OKLAHOMA CITY – Former Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon died in a fiery car crash on Wednesday, one day after being indicted by a federal grand jury, according to KFOR-TV.
Oklahoma City officers identified 56-year-old McClendon as the victim in the single-vehicle crash.
Police said McClendon was traveling “well over the speed limit” when his car “drove straight into” a wall of an overpass.
McClendon’s 2013 Chevy Tahoe was immediately engulfed in flames; he died on impact.
“There was plenty of opportunity for him to correct and get back on the road but that did not happen,” Oklahoma City Police Captain Paco Balderrama said at a press conference.
This wreck happened less than 24 hours after the former founder and CEO of Chesapeake was indicted for allegedly conspiring to rig the price oil and natural gas leases in Oklahoma.
The Department of Justice accused him of orchestrating a conspiracy between two large oil and gas companies between December 2007 and March 2012.
McClendon, who was also part-owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team, said the charges against him were “wrong and unprecedented.”
“I have been singled out as the only person in the oil and gas industry in over 110 years since the Sherman Act became law to have been accused of this crime in relation to joint bidding on leasehold,” he said in a statement.
McClendon released the following statement on Tuesday, regarding the indictment:
“The charge that has been filed against me today is wrong and unprecedented. I have been singled out as the only person in the oil and gas industry in over 110 years since the Sherman Act became law to have been accused of this crime in relation to joint bidding on leasehold. Anyone who knows me, my business record and the industry in which I have worked for 35 years, knows that I could not be guilty of violating any antitrust laws. All my life I have worked to create jobs in Oklahoma, grow its economy, and to provide abundant and affordable energy to all Americans. I am proud of my track record in this industry, and I will fight to prove my innocence and to clear my name.” – Aubrey McClendon
McClendon retired from Chesapeake in 2013 and became the CEO of American Energy Partners.
“It is with deep sadness that AELP confirms that earlier today, its founder, Aubrey K. McClendon died in a car accident on Midwest Boulevard in Oklahoma City. Aubrey’s tremendous leadership, vision, and passion for the energy industry had an impact on the community, the country, and the world. We are tremendously proud of his legacy and will continue to work hard to live up to the unmatched standards he set for excellence and integrity. We will deeply mourn his loss and please join us in expressing our condolences to his family,” a statement from American Energy Partners read.
McClendon was also a partial owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder.