Aubrey McClendon, a founder and former chief executive of Chesapeake Energy, died in a car crash on Wednesday, a day after he was charged with conspiring to rig bids for oil and natural gas leases.
According to Capt. Paco Balderrama of the Oklahoma City Police Department, McClendon crashed into an embankment while traveling at high speed in Oklahoma City just after 9 a.m. local time.
In 1989, McClendon co-founded Chesapeake, and resigned from the company in 2013. Chesapeake is the second-largest natural gas producer in the US. He also founded American Energy Partners (AEP), where he had been chief executive.
McClendon, who is a Duke University graduate, was a part owner of the National Basketball Association's (NBA) Oklahoma City Thunder. The team plays its home games at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
It must be noted that McClendon had denied the antitrust charges against him. Tuesday's federal indictment said that the alleged conspiracy took place between December 2007 and March 2012.
The companies are accused of deciding who would win certain oil and natural gas bids, then giving an interest in the leases to the other company. However, the Justice Department did not say which other company it believes was involved in the alleged scheme.
Reactions came in from the energy business world. T. Boone Pickens of BP Capital Management called McClendon "a major player in leading the stunning energy renaissance in America" and "a true entrepreneur."