TECH

Jimi Heselden, Owner Of Segway Inc., Dies In Segway Accident

09/27/2010 08:49 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Multi-millionaire Jimi Heselden, the owner of Segway Inc. since December 2009, has died after reportedly driving a Segway scooter off a cliff and into a river.

The fatal accident allegedly occurred at Heselden's West Yorkshire estate, according to the Daily Mail. He was "using one of the machines--which use gyroscopes to remain upright and are controlled by the direction in which the rider leans--to inspect the grounds of his property," writes the Daily Mail. "A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police said today: 'Police were called at 11.40am yesterday to reports of a man in the River Wharfe, apparently having fallen from the cliffs above.'"

Police told the Telegraph that a "Segway-style vehicle" was recovered at the scene of the accident.

Hesco Bastion, the company of which Heselden was chairman, confirmed Heselden's death in a statement given to the BBC. "It is with great sadness that we have to confirm that Jimi Heselden OBE, has died in a tragic accident near his home in West Yorkshire," said the Hesco Bastion spokesperson.

Heselden was known for his generous philanthropy: he had donated over 23 million GBP to charitable causes over his lifetime.

According to the BBC, Heselden "worked as a miner before losing his job in a wave of redundancies in the 1980s. His engineering business went from strength-to-strength and he had a fortune reported to be [166 million GBP], making him one of the top 400 richest people in the UK."

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