Segway CEO Dies from Off-Road Segway Crash

Dennis Faas's picture

In what is being described as a freak and somewhat ironic incident, British boss of Segway Inc. has been killed while piloting one of his company's own devices. Sixty-two-year-old Jimi Heselden reportedly took the device on an off-road stroll and was later found in a West Yorkshire river.

Segway Used by Google

A Segway is a high tech two-wheeled motorized vehicle and is powered by batteries and stabilized by gyroscopes.

The Segway is viewed by many tech enthusiasts as one of the most recognizable gadgets in the technology world and is even used by big name brands such as Google at their headquarters in Mountain View, California.

The device, which was invented in 1999 by New York's Dean Kamen, was first launched in 2001. Big names in the tech industry, such as Apple's Steve Jobs, whispered that the segway would revolutionize modern society, a prediction that has been mostly a miss.

From Coal Miner to High Tech CEO

Heselden, a former coal miner, became a multi-millionaire after helping to manufacture the Hesco bastion, a flood barrier technology made of collapsible wire mesh. It was only this year that Heselden, decided to purchase control of Bedford, New Hampshire-based Segway, Inc.

Heselden was amongst Britain's richest men and most prominent philanthropists.

Segway, Heselden Took 30-Foot Plunge

According to reports, the body of Heselden, in addition to his Segway, were found Sunday night floating in the River Wharfe, which runs through Yorkshire, England. Witnesses told local police they saw a man fall approximately 30 feet from the trail running along side the river into the water below.

The River Wharfe is part of a wider hiking area near the community of Boston Spa, located about 140 miles north of London. (Source:

Device Warrants New Safey Studies

The story is not great coverage for the Segway, which will now face speculation about its safety.

Heselden's demise came just prior to the unveiling of a new study using emergency room doctor testimonials that suggest Segway-related injuries are beginning to rise.

The study, which found that inexperienced users of the device were most likely to bear serious injuries, noted that accidents "are significant and seem to be increasing". (Source:

In a statement on its website, Segway, Inc. called Heselden's death "a tragic accident," and added "Our thoughts go out to his family and many friends, who have asked for privacy at this time."

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