Owner Of Segway Company Dies While Riding Segway

The British millionaire and philanthropist who purchased battery-powered scooter-type thing company Segway less than a year ago died yesterday while tooling around his property on one of his own devices.

A rep for his company, Hesco Bastion confirmed the death of the 62-year-old: “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.”

According to reports, Heselden went off a cliff and into a river while riding on his off-road Segway. Police have said the incident “is not believed to be suspicious.”

Heselden was the main man behind the Dec. 2009 purchase of New Hampshire-based Segway. The device recently rolled its way onto Time Magazine’s Worst Inventions List.

Segway boss Jimi Heselden dies in scooter cliff fall [BBC]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Cue the inappropriate jokes!

  2. DrStarkweather says:

    Better Headline:
    “Owner of Segway Inc, launches off cliff and into a river killing himself and the chances of “Segway Parkour” catching on in the process”

  3. gopena says:

    I can’t take this seriously. It’s sad, but in a dark comedic way.

    • PanCake BuTT says:

      That’s exactly the same way I felt. I was just telling my co-worker about this story and I couldn’t keep from sporting a grin as I gossiped. It’s tragic, sad, but ironic. RIP.

    • Conformist138 says:

      I know… he went off a cliff… into a river… on a Segway… an OFF-ROAD Segway!
      It’s sad, never nice when someone dies, particularly someone who by all accounts was a nice guy. Maybe his last act of charity was all the moments of laughter his death provided to those of us who enjoy dark humor.

  4. chaesar says:


  5. ThaKoolAidKid says:

    If this wasn’t a suicide then I am confused, if it malfunctioned why not just jump off? This man could just not admit defeat in the Segway department.

    • chaesar says:

      he was 62

    • Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

      My father is 62, my god father 69, both in less-than-great shape, and either of them would have been able to get off a Segway before plummeting over a cliff.

      So, I also have the question: how is this possible? Maybe a piece of clothing got caught? Or he didn’t know his own property well enough and was genuinely caught by surprise by the cliff?

      • Pax says:

        Or … he could have been riding ALONG the cliff, or otherwise close to it … and had a heart attack or a stroke. Either one could make him slump forward, and lean to one side or anotehr … which would cause the Segway to both turn, and accelerate.

    • Julia789 says:

      Maybe he was texting or otherwise distracted, and crashed.

  6. Slave For Turtles says:

    This is a very sad thing, especially for such a generous man. My condolences.

  7. ConsumerPop says:

    I wonder if he had a stroke/heart attack while riding it, lost control, and fell off the cliff.

  8. Kid Notorious says:

    Like rain on your wedding day…

    • chaesar says:

      haha just like the song, not actually ironic, just really shi**y

      • Kid Notorious says:


      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        Is it ironic that a song about irony doesn’t mention anything that’s actually ironic?

        • chaesar says:

          I’d say yes, especially because the song is called “Ironic”

          Oh my god, what if that’s what she was going for all along? Calling the song “Ironic,” but the lyrics arent ironic, which in turn makes the song actually very ironic!!

          I need a drink…

    • redwing41 says:

      1) If you are suggesting this is ironic, good job, it is!

      2) If you are suggesting rain on your wedding day is ironic, sorry, it’s not (look up the definition). It just sucks.

      3) If you fooled me with sarcastic writing and are suggesting both this is ironic and Alanis Morissette is a moron, you’re hilarious.

      • chaesar says:

        Not to be a harping literary douche but this isnt ironic. If the inventor (Dean Kamen) had died at the hands of a Segway it’d be ironic. Jimi Heselden is just a rich guy who purchased the company earlier this year.

  9. DurkaDurkaDurka says:

    I guess when he went off road, *put on sun glasses* his Segway went and offed him.


  10. DurkaDurkaDurka says:

    I guess when he went off road, *put on sun glasses* his Segway went and offed him.


  11. MaliBoo Radley says:

    If you don’t laugh, you’re not human. This is one of those ugly, uncomfortable and unchangeable part of our human nature. I suppose we might as well enjoy it.

  12. lettucefactory says:

    Oh God. That’s so sad and yet just a little bit darkly funny. You couldn’t make it up and still sound realistic.

    I live right outside D.C., and I took a Segway tour with a UMD graduate student group about five years ago. It was so. much. fun. Seriously, it was a joyful way to see the city.

    The verbal abuse we got for it was a different story, though. I had no idea before we took our tour, but apparently people really, really, really, really, really loathe folks on Segways and see no problem with hurling expletives at them. Because of that, I’d never do it again in any other city, no matter how fun it was. Even the old Consumerist post linked here refers to Segways as the territory of “lazy tourists.” Jesus. I didn’t ride the thing because I’m too lazy to walk – I’ve probably logged thousands of hours walking the city by now, I love to walk – I did it because it was a different kind of experience. And it really was fun.

    • jesirose says:

      Agreed! I saw a segway tour once and I really wanted to take it, and my BF was adamant that I could, but he was having no part in that.

      • Emperor Norton I says:

        I would take a Segway tour, but I’m not paying that much for & I’m sure as hell not wearing a helmet using something that is normally very safe!
        Repeat, normally, which means not going off a cliff!

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Just some insight in to why DCers don’t like Segway tours. I don’t hurl expletives at Segway riders, but then again, I don’t hurl expletives at anyone. I’m just not that kind of person. I do dislike Segway tours, though, because the companies don’t seem to instill any kind of etiquette before they unleash the tourists. They take up entire swaths of walking space and it’s often unsafe to walk around them to move ahead. And not to mention the teenagers who don’t always have the most control of their Segways – I’m sure others have a similar story of almost being hit by one.

      I don’t blame tourists for wanting to ride Segways around the city to see more – I just want them to understand that while they’re on vacation, the rest of us are working. I’m the same way with tourists walking around the city. Thank you for helping our economy, but please realize that I’m trying to get to work, trying to get to a meeting, and trying to get home.

      • Atalanta says:

        Yes, exactly! I’ve been nearly run off the sidewalk into busy downtown traffic by one of those Segway tours.

  13. tbax929 says:

    That’s not going to be good for sales, is it?

  14. ouijabored says:

    Wow…this is sad but also funny in a dark way. I would think he had a heart attack or something that caused him to lose control – otherwise you’d think if he started to go off a cliff he’d jump off the Segway to safety.

  15. danmac says:

    This sounds like something you would see in an episode of Arrested Development…

  16. evnmorlo says:

    Hesleden must have done something to jeopardize the mission.

  17. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Maybe he’s arthritic and can’t move fast, possibly in combination with slow reflexes.

  18. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Maybe he’s arthritic and can’t move fast, possibly in combination with slow reflexes.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      I don’t know why this was posted twice and not in a reply to MissDev.

    • Griking says:

      Couldn’t a person just let go and just fall off? Falling takes no coordination.

      I mean, it wouldn’t be comfortable but it seems preferable to riding one off a cliff.

  19. scoosdad says:

    Will there be a recall for stuck throttles or floor mats jamming the mechanism?

  20. BigRobot says:

    Heselden’s first action as CEO: outsource the electronics to Toyota.

  21. kccricket says:

    To be completely accurate, he didn’t die while riding the thing. :-P

  22. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Poor man. At least he was upright all the way down.

  23. graytotoro says:

    He made a huge mistake.

    (Arrested Development music plays)

  24. human_shield says:

    Driving a Segway off a cliff sounds pretty darn suspicious to me! Was he blindfolded? Trying to jump into the river on a dare?

  25. Traveshamockery says:

    I’m haunted by the image of the Segway being found standing dutifully upright next to his body. But it’s a black comedy kind of haunting.

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

      That was good. That single line could start a novel. A similar story to the movie I Robot. We need to figure out who programmed the thing.

  26. dr_drift says:

    Jimi Heselden is misspelled. It’s actually spelled Wile E. Coyote. Can you picture someone riding one of those things over a cliff? It’s horrifying, but the image is just so damn funny. There’s this guy just dutifully standing on his little scooter thing and then *POOF*. XD

    Also RIP.

  27. sopmodm14 says:

    RIP, but the segway wasn’t the greatest of inventions

    that he died on his invention could make it a death trap in waiting

    if thats an invention worthy of praise, then the razr scooter is the invention of a lifetime b/c its foldable, faster, and cheaper, and above all, more efficient

  28. jpdanzig says:

    “What a way to go!”

  29. MaytagRepairman says:

    I don’t know why but I have a sudden urge to watch “The Hudsucker Proxy” again though I don’t see the connection with this post.

  30. Worstdaysinceyesterday says:

    I might guess there was a pint of guinness or glenfiddich involved…

  31. jstimson says:

    And I’m riding a Segway to heaven!

  32. ArmyCats says:

    His gas pedal got stuck…

  33. MongoAngryMongoSmash says:

    Now he’s dead and nerdy

  34. Bkhuna says:

    It’s all George Bushs’ fault.