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Former Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon was traveling more than 40 mph over the speed limit before a fatal single car accident earlier this month.

In a press conference held Tuesday, Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty said investigators have determined that McClendon was traveling at about 88 mph with no seat belt on in the minutes leading up to the March 2 accident.

The speed limit on the road McClendon was traveling on is 50 mph, Citty said.

The vehicle, a 2013 Tahoe, decelerated to about 78 mph when three of its tires left the road before slamming into a bridge embankment.


Police investigators believe that McClendon, 56, likely died of multiple blunt force traumas to his head and torso before his vehicle caught fire.

Using data retrieved from the vehicle’s data recorder, Citty said that McClendon tapped his brakes “several times” as he veered left from the highway’s center lane but he did not hit the brakes within about 31 feet of the impact site.

The vehicle’s data recorder only contains information up to five seconds before the crash.

Citty said that it appears the vehicle’s brakes were functioning correctly.

Citty added that the medical examiner’s office has not found evidence of a “medical episode” that may have caused the crash.

The Oklahoma City Police Department is still investigating the incident and will then hand the case over to the medical examiner’s office.

The results of a toxicology report and an official cause of death have not been released yet.

McClendon died barely a day after the DOJ announced that a federal grand jury had indicted him on charges of rigging bids for oil and gas leases in Oklahoma.

The DOJ said McClendon had “orchestrated” a bid rigging scheme between “two large oil and gas companies” that ran from December 2007 to March 2012.

In a statement issued before his death, McClendon denied any wrongdoing and said the charges were “wrong and unprecedented.”

“I have been singled out as the only person in the oil and gas industry in over 110 years since the Sherman Act became law to have been accused of this crime in relation to joint bidding on leasehold,” McClendon said in a statement.

A law enforcement source told CNBC earlier this month that the DOJ will move to dismiss its case against McClendon but the agency has not commented on the matter yet.

Just days after the accident, a class of oil and gas royalty owners filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in an Oklahoma federal court against Chesapeake Energy, SandRidge Energy and former SandRidge Energy CEO and chairman Tom Ward.

Ward co-founded Chesapeake Energy with McClendon in 1989 and currently serves as CEO and chairman of Oklahoma-based Tapstone Energy.

The lawsuit, filed by Dallas-based law firm Burns Charest, alleges that the “defendants violated federal antitrust laws by rigging bids and limiting competition for oil and gas leases in northwest Oklahoma.”

The suit also claims that the class could “ultimately include thousands of affected royalty owners in the Anadarko Basin Region,” Burns Charest said.

The defendants named in the lawsuit have not commented on the case.


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