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Tycoon who took over Segway firm dies in freak accident after riding one of the machi
09-28-2010, 12:31 AM,
#1
Tycoon who took over Segway firm dies in freak accident after riding one of the machi
Tycoon who took over Segway firm dies in freak accident after riding one of the machines off hillside and into a river
By Gavin Allen
Last updated at 9:43 PM on 27th September 2010
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1315518/Segway-owner-Jimi-Heselden-dies-riding-machines-cliff.html

The multi-millionaire owner of the Segway company died in a freak accident yesterday when he rode one of the high-tech two-wheel machines off a cliff and into a river.

Former miner Jimi Heselden, 62, plunged into the River Wharfe while riding around his West Yorkshire estate in Boston Spa on a rugged country version of the Segway.

He bought the firm last December and 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.
Big heart: Jimi Heselden donated more than £23 million to charity

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.

'A Segway-style vehicle was recovered. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

'At this time we do not believe the death to be suspicious.'
The scene: Mr Heselden died after his Segway plunged 30ft from a rocky path and into Jackdaw Crag, located on the River Wharfe, West Yorkshire

Invesitgators are probing whether there was a fault with his particular machine or it was driver error.

His death comes just a week after he became one of the UK's most generous philanthropists, having given away £10million to a charity foundation he set up in 2008. He had previously given £13million to the same organisation.

Mr Heselden was worth £166million and ranked 395th on the Sunday Times Rich List - above X Factor boss Simon Cowell - thanks to his defence company Hesco Bastion.
Segway accident

In a statement today Hesco Bastion said: '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.

'Jimi was chairman of Hesco Bastion Ltd, the world leading manufacturer of protective barriers, and owner of Segway Inc.

'Jimi is perhaps best known for his charity work with Help for Heroes and the Leeds Community Foundation.

'A £10m gift to the foundation earlier this month saw his lifetime charitable donations top £23m.

'Our thoughts go out to his family and many friends, who have asked for privacy at this time.'

Hesco Bastion pioneered 'blast walls' - steel-mesh baskets - which replaced sandbags as protection for soldiers on the frontline in Afghanistan and Iraq.

But Mr Seselden, an ex-miner, he also strongly believed in giving back to the community and two years ago set up the Leeds Community Foundation in his home city with a £10million donation, which he topped up with a further £3million in 2009 and another £10million last week.

The organisation helps disadvantaged youngsters, vulnerable elderly people and health improvement projects in the south and east of the city.

The donation was the largest received by any of the 57 foundations across the country, which were set up to help direct money to the most deserving causes, and made LCF one of the largest private funds in Britain.

Mr Heselden grew up in the deprived Leeds suburb of Halton Moor and, after leaving school at 15, worked at Temple Newsam and Lofthouse pits before setting up his own company.

His life changed in 1990 when he produced a new concertina-style design for wire cage walls, called the Concertainer, which were initially meant to help prevent land erosion. However, they were co-opted for military use and and his business grew rapidly.

Mr Heselden was usually reluctant to talk about his charity donations but, on giving the £10million, he spoke publicly about it in the hope of persuading others to donate too as the effects of the recession continue to limit available funds for good causes.

He said: 'There are people out there who are making money and when times are good I honestly believe people have a moral obligation to use their wealth to help others.

'There are a lot of families out there who are struggling and a lot of youngsters who have grown up without role models and who can't get jobs.

'Life turned out pretty well for me, but I still work in the same area where I grew up and every day I see people who for whatever reason are down on their luck.'

Many of his donations relate to the military and Mr Heselden, who was awarded an OBE in 2006, gave £1.5million to the Help For Heroes fund in 2008 when he won a charity auction bid for nine people to fly with the Red Arrows.

His company also sponsored a recent armed forces charity concert at Twickenham.

Of his military donations he said; added: 'We often get thank-you letters from troops, saying how one of our walls saved their lives when a bomb went off and this is our way of showing them how much we appreciate what they do.'

The company's latest innovation is the R-House, a new style of temporary housing or shelter that provides protection and comfortable living space for up to eight people in the aftermath of disasters.
Company: The Leeds headquarters of Mr Heselden's firm Hesco Bastion.

There was little evidence of the accident today in the remote area where it is believed to have happened on the edge of the River Wharfe.

One area of the woodland path at the top of several cliff faces on the river's banks - which is accessible from a public bridleway - is particularly uneven with a sheer drop of around 30ft at the side which leads down to the river.

The heavily wooded area, which is popular with walkers, has areas of relative flat before being broken by various tree roots and branches.

A well-trodden path curves around the top of the cliff before descending to another path which is met by a footbridge over a small stream.

About a dozen family members arrived at the scene today to lay floral tributes for Mr Heselden, with many visibly shaken.
Reply
10-10-2010, 05:29 PM,
#2
RE: Tycoon who took over Segway firm dies in freak accident after riding one of the machi
from the person witnessing the accident, he basically got out of someone's way and didn't watch his back.
Reply
10-10-2010, 11:26 PM,
#3
RE: Tycoon who took over Segway firm dies in freak accident after riding one of the machi
Quote:from the person witnessing the accident, he basically got out of someone's way and didn't watch his back.
Was he going backwards when he went over the cliff?
Reply
12-08-2010, 11:55 AM,
#4
RE: Tycoon who took over Segway firm dies in freak accident after riding one of the machi
Spectacular views=dangerous cliffs
“Intelligence is like a river: the deeper it is, the less noise it makes.”
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12-08-2010, 08:39 PM,
#5
RE: Tycoon who took over Segway firm dies in freak accident after riding one of the machi
(10-10-2010, 11:26 PM)dicktater Wrote:
Quote:from the person witnessing the accident, he basically got out of someone's way and didn't watch his back.
Was he going backwards when he went over the cliff?

possibly. you just have to lean don't you? lent back a bit onto a bit of scrub.....oops that not scrub but a plant growing out from a rock face.... weeeeeeeeeeeesplat. not unheard of. being rich doesn't automatically grant you complete 3d spacial awareness. i bet he was annoyed on the way down...
Reply
12-08-2010, 09:29 PM,
#6
RE: Tycoon who took over Segway firm dies in freak accident after riding one of the machi
(12-08-2010, 08:39 PM)rsol Wrote: i bet he was annoyed on the way down...
"God Dammit Who put this fucking cliff here", "Someone fire that asshole"
SPLAT
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