09/28/2010

Segway mishap kills company's UK owner

Some say Heselden was testing a new cross-country version of the Segway, while others say he was riding the Segway as he checked his estate

CBC News

YORKSHIRE, England — Police in Britain have now confirmed that a man killed in an accident involving a Segway scooter was the owner of the company.

"Police have named James William Heselden as the 62-year-old man who was pronounced dead yesterday," a release from West Yorkshire Police said Monday.

Known by most as Jimi, Heselden was a flamboyant millionaire who bought the New Hampshire-based Segway business last December.

Heselden's body was pulled from River Wharfe and a Segway-style vehicle was recovered from the scene, according to police. They had been called at 11:40 a.m. local time Sunday over reports of a man having fallen from a cliff.

Reports vary on how the accident happened. Some say Heselden was testing a new cross-country version of the Segway, while others say he was riding the Segway as he checked his estate.

The Segway is a two-wheeled motorized scooter once touted as a device that would revolutionize personal transportation. However, the Segway never captured a large market.

Heselden was a former miner and inventor who made millions on military defence contracts.

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