The day after being indicted on federal antitrust charges, Aubrey McClendon, the former CEO of big Oil Company Chesapeake Energy Corporation, died in a fireball that engulfed his car shortly after an accident.
Police stated that the unwitnessed accident appeared to be a result of the car veering off center and into a road embankment, with “plenty of opportunity to correct its course.” The car was travelling at 40 miles, and was engulfed in flames by the time emergency crews arrived on scene. The entangled body was later removed after a difficult extrication; it has been reported.
In response to the federal charges 24 hours earlier, McClendon stated this:
“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.”
The ‘King of Fracking,’ has been in trouble with the law on previous occasions, and was removed from his CEO position in 1989, from the company he co-founded, Chesapeake. Reportedly to have siphoned portioned funds from oil well revenue, shareholders witnessed the company’s stock tank by 10 percent.Lawsuits and investigations followed.
The car accident is currently being investigated to see if sole passenger McClendon was wearing a seatbelt and if the brakes were used. Given the badly burned evidence, they are relying on the car’s automated computer features to tell the full story.