HESCO Millionaire dies riding Segway machine off a cliff

Millionaire owner of Segway firm dies in freak accident after riding one of his two-wheel machines off a cliff

By Gavin Allen
Last updated at 10:27 AM on 27th September 2010

Big heart: Jimi Heselden donated more than £23 million to charity

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.

Businessman Jimi Heselden, 62, plunged off cliffs into the River Wharfe while riding around his estate in Boston Spa, Wetherby, North Yorkshire

He bought the firm in January 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.

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

The ex-miner made his fortune with Leeds-based defence company Hesco Bastion.

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

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

Read more: Jimi Heselden killed in Segway accident | Mail Online
Hats off.
I've got to admit, there's a certain style to that. Not quite rock'n'roll, but not a bad attempt either.

Can't imagine Ozzie Osbourne meeting his end on a Segway.
If this is true it is really sad. He did a lot for the chaps and the HESCO stands were awesome at all the shows!

RIP a great bloke.


Book Reviewer
That's terrible news. The guy is a hero in his own right for the work he's done, both for the protection of Armed Forces personnel with HESCO, and also for his massive donations to Armed Forces charities.

I'm gutted, and also sure he'll be terribly missed.

Having said that, buying the Segway company required a leap of faith, and it's been shown that, as an idea, it hasn't got wings.
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