Former Chesapeake Energy C.E.O. Dies in Car Crash One Day After Indictment

Shale-fracking pioneer and former C.E.O. of Chesapeake Energy Aubrey McClendon died in a single-car accident on Wednesday.

McClendon, who was 56 years old, had been indicted Tuesday for conspiring to rig bids for natural gas and oil leases. McClendon was traveling over the speed limit, according to officials, when he crashed his 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe into a viaduct under a bridge in Oklahoma City. “Speed was definitely a factor in the fatality,” Oklahoma City officials said at a press conference. “He pretty much drove straight into the wall.”

McClendon was no stranger to controversy. He founded Chesapeake Energy, in 1989, and it eventually became the country’s second-largest producer of natural gas after ExxonMobil. McClendon left his company in 2013 following a series of 2012 Reuters reports that alleged a number of conflicts of interest, including the fact that McClendon, the self-proclaimed world’s “biggest fracker,” had allegedly taken out over $1 billion in personal loans from Chesapeake lenders to finance drilling costs. The company conducted an internal investigation and eventually found no misconduct. In 2012, McClendon was removed from Chesapeake’s board.


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