Segway Owner Dies in Cliff Accident

One of the richest persons in the United Kingdom noted for his philanthropic work and for being the owner of the company that produces Segway, a two-wheeled, self-balancing scooter, has died after falling off a cliff and into a river in northern England.

James Heselden, 62, was found in the River Wharfe on Monday after apparently falling off a cliff while riding a Segway personal transporter. West Yorkshire police said Heselden’s death was not suspicious. A witness reported to police on Sunday that a man fell into the river from the cliff above.

Heselden was the chairman and founder of British company Hesco Bastion, which produces an alternative to sandbags used in flood control and military defense against small arms and blasts. Heselden led a British group that acquired Segway Inc. in December last year. Heselden is also noted for his generosity to charities, including a $15.9-million donation he recently gave to the Leeds Community Foundation. He donated more than $31 million to charities during his lifetime, reports said.

Tributes have poured since Heselden’s death was confirmed on Monday, with Leeds City Council Chief Executive Tom Riordan describing the businessman as “an amazing man” and “a wonderful success story.”