Aubrey McClendon, Thunder Co-Owner, Dies at Age 56

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 2, 2016

FILE - In a Sept.8, 2009 file photo, Chesapeake Energy Corp. CEO Aubrey McClendon speaks during the opening of a compressed natural gas filling station in Oklahoma City. McClendon said Tuesday, May 1, 2012 that  he is giving up the chairmanship of Chesapeake Energy Corp. following shareholder complaints that his personal business interests could conflict with those of the company he runs. The Chesapeake founder will remain as CEO. The company's board said it's searching for a non-executive chairman.  (AP Photo, File)
Anonymous/Associated Press

Oklahoma City Thunder co-owner Aubrey McClendon died Wednesday at the age of 56 following a car accident.   

The Oklahoma City Police Department confirmed McClendon's identity after the car crash occurred around 9 a.m. CT. 

Thunder chairman Clay Bennett provided a statement on McClendon, per Anthony Slater of NewsOK.com:

On Tuesday, per Clifford Krauss of the New York Times, the Justice Department announced McClendon was charged with conspiracy to suppress prices paid for oil and natural gas leases while in charge of Chesapeake Energy. 

The Justice Department claimed McClendon worked with two oil and gas companies that decided "who would win the leases, with the winning bidder allotting an interest in the leases to the other company."

ESPN.com's Royce Young tweeted out an image of McClendon's vehicle following the crash, as well as part of the statement from Oklahoma City police:

Per Reuters News on Twitter, police said McClendon's car had "plenty of opportunity to get back on the roadway and that didn't occur." They also stated the vehicle was "so badly burned" that officers were unable to determine if McClendon was wearing a seat belt. 

McClendon was part of the Professional Basketball Club LLC, with Clayton Bennett serving as chairman, that bought the Seattle SuperSonics and Seattle Storm in July 2006.

After playing the 2007-08 season in Seattle, the Professional Basketball Club LLC moved the then-Sonics to Oklahoma City prior to the 2008-09 season. The team made five straight playoff appearances from 2010 to 2014, including an appearance in the NBA Finals in 2012. 

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