Pioneering Oklahoma energy CEO dies in fiery car crash

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Energy tycoon Aubrey McClendon earned a reputation as a pioneer, backing technology that tapped pockets of natural gas deep underground, and he accumulated a fortune that helped him buy part of an NBA team.

But the former Chesapeake Energy CEO also drew the scrutiny of federal investigators, who announced antitrust charges against him Tuesday. Sixteen hours later, the 56-year-old was dead in a fiery single-car accident in Oklahoma City.

Police Capt. Paco Balderrama says McClendon "pretty much drove straight into the wall," but it's too early to tell if the collision was intentional.

McClendon was accused of orchestrating a scheme to rig bids for oil and gas leases in Oklahoma, but in a statement just hours before his death, McClendon fiercely denied the allegations and vowed to clear his name.