OKC Thunder part-owner dies in car crash one day after indictment
Oklahoma City Thunder part-owner Aubrey McClendon died in a one-car crash on Wednesday morning, according to Oklahoma City police. He was 56 years old.
News9.com reported earlier Wednesday that an Oklahoma City fire department spokesperson said the crash happened just after 9 a.m. local time, after a car slammed into a bridge on Midwest Boulevard between Memorial and 122nd in Northeast Oklahoma City, with one person dying in the crash.
Capt. Paco Balderrama of the Oklahoma City Police Department told reporters that McClendon’s 2013 Chevy Tahoe went “left of center, traveling at a high rate of speed,” and collided into an embankment wall of an overpass.
“His vehicle was engulfed in flames immediately, and he did not survive the accident,” Balderrama said.
OKC police will need one to two weeks to completely finish their investigation, but Balderrama noted that it appeared the speed at which McClendon was traveling “was most definitely a factor” in the fatality.
“I am overcome with grief,” Thunder chairman Clayton I. Bennett wrote in a team statement issued Wednesday evening. “Aubrey McClendon was a visionary community leader, a trusted business partner and a passionate member of the Thunder family. But more than anything, he was a brother and a dear friend.
“His love of his community and his desire to make Oklahoma a better place will forever inspire all of us. Louise and I offer our love and prayers to Katie and the McClendon family.”
The crash came one day after a federal grand jury indicted McClendon was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice and charged with conspiring to rig bidding oil and natural gas leases in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act between 2007 and 2012, when he served as CEO of Chesapeake Energy Corporation, the company that since 2011 has held the naming rights to the arena in which the Thunder play. Under scrutiny over mixing of personal and corporate finances, McClendon stepped down as Chesapeake’s CEO in April 1, 2013; the next day, he founded American Energy Partners, another large private oil and natural gas company.
The U.S. Department of Justice charged that McClendon “orchestrated a conspiracy between two large oil and gas companies to not bid against each other for the purchase of certain oil and natural gas leases in northwest Oklahoma,” suppressing prices paid to leaseholders and putting “profits ahead of the interests of leaseholders entitled to competitive bids for oil and gas rights on their land.” The violations with which McClendon was charged carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine for individuals.
He denied the U.S. Department of Justice’s claims on Tuesday.
“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,” he said in a statement, according toAdam Wilmoth of The Oklahoman. “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.”
McClendon was scheduled to appear in court later Wednesday, according to Clifford Krauss of the New York Times.
Balderrama said Wednesday that there was “no indication” that McClendon attempted to stop his car from crashing, and that he was going well above the posted 40 miles per hour speed limit at the time of the crash.
“There was a plenty of opportunity for him to correct or get back on the roadway and that didn’t occur,” Balderrama said, according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY.
McClendon was alone in his 2013 Chevy Tahoe when it sped into an embankment along a remote two-lane road in Oklahoma City, where it burst into flames, a police spokesman said. The cause of death will be determined later by a medical examiner, the spokesman said.
The crash occurred less than 24 hours after the U.S. Department of Justice announced that McClendon had been indicted for allegedly colluding to rig bids for oil and gas acreage while he was at Chesapeake. He had denied the charges.
At a press briefing in Oklahoma City, Captain Paco Balderrama said McClendon was traveling at “well above” the 40 mile per hour speed limit before he “pretty much drove straight into the wall.” He was not wearing a seat belt.
cars that dont stop and do whatever they are “controlled” to do?
“there was “no indication” that McClendon attempted to stop his car from crashing, and that he was going well above the posted 40 miles per hour speed limit at the time of the crash.”
strange way to suicide?
“he “pretty much drove straight into the wall.” He was not wearing a seat belt.”
“The crash came one day after a federal grand jury indicted McClendon. He was indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice and charged with conspiring to rig bidding oil and natural gas leases in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act between 2007 and 2012, when he served as CEO of Chesapeake Energy Corporation”
timing..dead men tell no tales..reckless billionaire indeed..