Monday, September 27, 2010
James Helseden was riding his Segway around his property in West Yorkshire, when he drove off a cliff, into the River Wharfe and died, said Bloomberg News.
The death was reported by the West Yorkshire police, who recovered the Segway from the water.
“Our family has been left devastated by the sudden and tragic loss of a much loved father and husband,” Heselden’s family said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg News. “There is absolutely nothing to suggest it was anything other than a tragic accident.”
Police confirmed that the death was not suspicious.
Heselden, who founded Leeds-based Hesco Bastion Ltd., bought the Segway operation this year. He is reported to have had an estimated personal fortune of 166 million pounds ($263.2 million).
Paula Hargadon, a spokeswoman for Hesco Bastion Ltd., confirmed the deadly accident.
In 2006 Segway voluntarily recalled 23,500 of the self-balancing scooters because they could suddenly reverse and cause accidents. The wheels unexpectedly switched direction when the rider leaned the transporter back to slow down, got off and got on again over a short period of time.
Former U.S. President George W. Bush made the news nationwide when he was pictured jumping from one of the two wheeled scooters after he lost control while vacationing in Maine in 2003.
That year, Segway recalled all 6,000 of its human transporters after a safety report found operators risk falling as the scooter’s batteries depleted.
The cost of a basic i2 Segway model is 4,795 pounds (about $7,599) and has a maximum speed of 12.5 miles (20 kilometers) per hour, according to the company’s U.K. website. The most expensive option is its x2 adventure package at 5,294 pounds, (about $8,340) while the i2 police package costs 5,045 pounds (about $7,995).
BBB cannot help but add commentary to this one. We always thought it was dangerous, and this news kind of cinches it. Hopefully, you dear reader, do not hold any stock in this company.
Check out this photo of the Chinese police anti-terror unit: they look terrifying themselves. Good riddance.