Oklahoma City Thunder part-owner dies in fiery crash, 1 day after indictment by DOJ

Just one day after the Department of Justice charged 56-year old Aubrey McClendon with conspiring to rig bids for the purchase of oil and natural gas leases in northwest Oklahoma, McClendon died in a fiery crash. McClendon was a part-owner of NBA team, the Oklahoma City Thunder.In a press conference posted by the Oklahoma City Police Department, Capt. Paco Balderrama said that the OKCPD responded to a fatality crash at approximately 9:12 a.m. Wednesday involving McClendon. 

“The information that I have right now is that his vehicle, which was identified as a 2013 Chevy Tahoe, was traveling northbound on Midwest Boulevard, just south of Memorial towards I44, better known as Turner Turnpike.” Balderrama said. “He went left of center traveling at a high rate of speed and collided into the west embankment wall of the overpass.”

McClendon’s vehicle was immediately engulfed in flames and he did not survive, Balderrama said.

Balderrama said that speed was most definitely a factor in the fatal crash and that investigators will take one to two weeks to complete the investigation, part of which involves recreating the scene.

At this point, he added, the scene looks “pretty cut and dry as far as to what exactly happened.”

McClendon was the co-founder and former chairman and CEO of Chesapeake Energy, the company that holds the naming rights to the Thunder’s arena. He left Chesapeake in 2013, and founded American Energy Partners the next day. The indictment says the conspiracy ran from December 2007 to March 2012, when conspirators would decide ahead of time who would win bids, with the winner then allocating an interest in the leases to the other company.