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calendar   Monday - September 27, 2010

An Unusual End To An Unusual Life

Segway company owner dies riding two-wheeled machine off cliff




Jimi Heselden, the owner of the Segway company, has died after riding one of the two-wheeled machines off a cliff and into a river.

The multi-millionaire businessman, 62, fell into the River Wharfe while inspecting the grounds of his North Yorkshire estate on a rugged country version of the Segway.

The Segway is a motorised scooter which use gyroscopes to remain upright and is controlled by the direction in which the rider leans.

A passer-by found Heselden alongside his Segway in the Boston Spa area at about 11.40am on Sunday.

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.

imageThe off-road version of the Segway is their XT model. It has much bigger tires than the urban i180 model and weighs a little more. It can handle dirt and gravel roads and drive across fields. They sell for about $5000 and are good for 10-12 miles of use between charges. The Segway was invented by Dean Kamen and Heselden acquired the company earlier this year. Segway sales have been significant but not as great as originally hoped for. Perhaps under Heselden the company was set to head in a new direction.

I think this incident may be only the second Segway fatality ever anywhere. They don’t go very fast, you’re already standing up when riding, and your feet are only a couple inches off the ground.



Heselden, a former miner, made his fortune by inventing a folding cardboard box to put dirt in. Perhaps his original idea was to clean up the mine tailings areas, but the rugged box soon found widespread usage and is now known as the Hesco bastion.

The former miner made his millions from defence contracts. He created a unique portable wire cage water containment system which when filled with earth and sand proved a major defence against bullets, missiles and suicide attacks.

His founded his first company HESCO Bastions with his redundancy pay when he was laid off from the mines. The wire cage systems developed by Bastions have become standard military equipment for Nato as well as American and British forces.

The hesco barrier or hesco bastion is a modern gabion for military fortification. It is made of a collapsible wire mesh container and heavy duty fabric liner, and used as a temporary blast or small-arms barrier. One of the less heralded life- and labor-saving devices of war.

Originally designed for use on beaches and marshes for erosion and flood control,the hesco bastion quickly became a popular security device. In general, it takes far less labor to build a Hesco barrier than an equivalent structure made with sandbags.

imageimage





RIP Mr. Heselden. Your invention has saved an awful lot of lives and property.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/27/2010 at 12:58 PM   
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