Aubrey Mcclendon, Former Oil and Gas Ceo Dies in Fiery Single Car Crash
Less than 24 hours after being indicted on federal charges of breaking U.S. antitrust laws by the U.S. Department of Justice for allegedly rigging bids for oil and gas land deals, Aubrey McClendon, the former CEO and co-founder of Chesapeake Energy, who resigned from the company in 2013, died in a single car crash on March 2, 2016 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Prior to his death McClendon denied all the charges brought against him. He was 56 years old and is survived by his wife and their three children.
While the cause of his death has yet to be determined, the timing and circumstances of the crash are curious as McClendon was scheduled to turn himself in to authorities at 11am and the crash occurred just after 9am local time on a desolate 2 lane road approximately 8 miles from the offices of American Energy Partners, a company he founded after resigning from Chesapeake Energy.
McClendon was traveling at a high rate of speed in his 2013 Chevy Tahoe on a 2 lane road where the speed limit is 40 miles per hour and was not wearing his seat belt in violation of Oklahoma’s seat belt laws that require any driver and front seat passenger to be restrained by a seat belt while the vehicle is in operation. Additionally, Oklahoma’s seat belt laws are “primary” meaning that a law enforcement officer can pull you over and issue a citation for a violation and does not need to have another reason to make the stop before issuing a citation.
Captain Paco Balderrama of the Oklahoma City Police Department said during a press briefing shortly after the crash that it looks like McClendon drove straight into an overpass wall at a high rate of speed without a seat belt and that it looks like McClendon had sufficient time to correct his path and get back onto the roadway but that he did not. Witnesses say that McClendon’s SUV almost immediately burst into flames after the crash.
Oil & Gas industry leaders remember McClendon as a visionary who as CEO took Chesapeake Energy from a small wildcatter (which is a term for a person or company that drills exploratory oil & gas wells in areas that are not known to produce oil & gas) and made it one of the largest natural gas producers in the entire world. He helped start an energy revolution in the U.S. by ushering in the use of hydraulic fracturing technology to help unlock large quantities of natural gas and oil in this country. Some think his downfall may have been that he unlocked so much natural gas that it caused an oversupply thereby driving the price of natural gas down so much that it may have caused many energy producers including Chesapeake Energy to lose a substantial portion, if not all, of their market value as companies, some of which have since ceased operations.
As CEO of Chesapeake Energy, McClendon was known as a risk taker and big spender on things such as a fleet of private planes for his executives, expensive homes, boats, wines as well as lavish vacations for him and his family.
In Oklahoma McClendon was praised by many for bolstering the local economy and helping to revitalize Oklahoma City even helping them to land the Oklahoma City Thunder, an NBA franchise formerly the Seattle Supersonics, in which he had a minority stake. Chesapeake Energy still has the naming rights for the arena where they play in Oklahoma City.
If your loved one was recently killed in a car accident, contact an injury attorney in Miami from Payer & Associates.