Fans of the Oklahoma City Thunder are mourning, as Aubrey McClendon, co-owner of the NBA team, is dead in what appears to be a possible suicide. On March 2, Aubrey crashed his car into a bridge in Oklahoma City, dying one day after he was charged with conspiracy. He was 56-years-old.
How utterly heartbreaking. Aubrey McClendon is dead from what appears to be a horrible suicide. The 56-year-old CEO and co-owner of the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team died from a horrible car accident that left his vehicle engulfed in flames.
Law enforcement officials say that Aubrey was driving his 2013 Chevy Tahoe at dangerous speeds when it veered out of the lane and struck the side of an Oklahoma City bridge, according to TMZ. The car exploded and Aubrey died within the fiery wreck. The officials say there was no indication that he tried to stop the car before the crash, but the cops haven’t officially called it a suicide. This is the second recent tragedy to hit the OKC Thunder, as Ingrid Williams, the wife of assistant coach Monty Williams, passed away on Feb. 10 due to a severe car crash.
Aubrey’s death comes a day after he was charged with conspiracy in an oil and gas scheme. After graduating from Duke University in 1981, Aubrey worked at his uncle’s company, Jaytext Oil and Gas, before co-founding Chesapeake Energy Corporation in 1989. By focusing on horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (or “fraccing”/”fracking”), he was hailed as a visionary.
However, on March 1, Aubrey was indicted for allegedly rigging the bidding process on certain oil and gas leases from 2007 to 2012, according to CNBC. He stepped down from the company in 2013. “While serving as CEO of a major oil and gas company, the defendant formed and led a conspiracy to suppress prices paid to leaseholders in northwest Oklahoma,” US Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer said in a statement on March 1, according to the New York Post. If convicted, Aubrey would have faced up to 10 years in prison.
He denied these allegations. “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,” Aubrey said on the day of his indictment, according to NewsOK. Sadly, Aubrey won’t have his day in court to defend his name.
At the time of his death, Aubrey was married to Katie McClendon. They have three adult children — Jack, Callie and Will. Through his wife, Aubrey was related to supermodel Kate Upton, 23. A connoisseur of wine, his personal collection was estimated to, at one time, include more than 100,000 bottles.
Our thoughts are with Aubrey’s family and friends during their time of loss.