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Segway company owner dies in Segway accident

A businessman who owns the company thatmakes the two-wheeled Segway has been found dead in a river in northernEngland after apparently falling off a cliff on one of the vehicles,police said Monday.

LONDON — A wealthy British businessman who owns the company that
makes the two-wheeled Segway has been found dead in a river in northern
England after apparently falling off a cliff on one of the vehicles,
police said Monday.


The body of 62-year-old James Heselden and a
Segway personal transporter were found in the River Wharfe and he was
prounced dead at the scene, West Yorkshire Police said.


Police
said a witness had reported seeing a man fall Sunday over a 30-foot
(9-meter) drop into the river near Boston Spa, 140 miles (225
kilometers) north of London.


"The incident is not believed to be suspicious," police said, indicating that they do not believe anyone else was involved.


Heselden,
who bought control of the New Hampshire-based Segway company in
December, made his fortune through his firm Hesco Bastion Ltd., which
developed a system to replace sand bags to protect troops.


Hesco
Bastion is based in Leeds, near the tough Halton Moor area where
Heselden grew up. He left school at 15 and first worked as a coal miner
before becoming a businessman and philanthropist. Hesco Bastion said
Heselden recently gave 10 million pounds ($15.9 million) to the Leeds
Community Foundation, raising his total charitable giving to 23 million
pounds.


"Jimi was an amazing man who, apart from being a
wonderful success story for Leeds due to his business acumen, was also
remarkably selfless and generous, giving millions to local charities to
help people in his home city," said Tom Riordan, the chief executive of
Leeds City Council.


The battery-powered Segway, which is stabilized by gyroscopes, was invented by Dean Kamen, who founded the company in 1999.

 
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