Legendary Oilman Dies in Oklahoma Car Accident
Oklahoma saw a tragic twist to an ignominious story last week. Legendary Oklahoma oil and gas pioneer Aubrey McClendon died following a traffic crash in Oklahoma City. As StateImpact Oklahoma reports, the crash came a day after McClendon was indicted for masterminding a conspiracy to rig the bidding process for oil and gas leases in northwest Oklahoma.
It’s not known if the two events are related. However, as OKC police captain Paco Balderrama revealed, McClendon “pretty much drove straight into the wall.” Balderama added that the car was engulfed in flames and was so badly burned police could not determine if McClendon was wearing a seatbelt.
Despite his indictment, McClendon is recognized as one of the most influential energy figures in American history. In a statement, Governor Mary Fallin said the man will be remembered for his innovations, as well as his civic generosity. Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association President Mike Terry agreed, calling McClendon “a true visionary whose accomplishments will long go unmatched.” And T. Boon Pickens called him “a major player in leading [America’s] stunning energy renaissance.” Chesapeake, McClendon’s company, said they were “deeply saddened by the news.”