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Segway death blamed on good manners

Typical act of courtesy

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Jim Heselden, the Segway owner who died late last year after toppling from one of the scooters, likely fell from the cliff because he was getting out of the way of a man walking his dog.

He fell more than 40 feet from a footpath above a river near Boston Spa, close to his home.

Sean Christie was out walking his dog. He told Leeds coroner's court that Heselden backed his scooter off the path as he approached him. He then wobbled and fell backwards, according to the BBC. He later found Heselden lying dead in the river below.

The coroner said: "I think it's probable, I think typical of Jimi and the type of man he was, he held back and waited as an act of courtesy to allow Mr Christie more room. In so doing he's attempted to reverse the Segway back. As a result of that he has got into difficulty."

He recorded a verdict of accidental death. There was no fault with the scooter or suspicion of foul play.

Heselden was a generous donor to several local charities and causes connected to the Armed Forces.

62-year old Heselden bought Segway Inc in 2010. He was better known as a philanthropist and the man behind Hesco Bastion- which makes Concertainers - the giant chicken-wire boxes filled with rubble. They were originally designed for strengthening flood defences but found a secondary use as defensive walls for troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Project Ginger, as the Segway was codenamed, swept the web with more hype than an Apple tablet back in 2001. With no more information than apparent investment from Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos, the web went wild for Dean Kamen's invention. It was going to change the shape of cities and be more important than the PC – that was according to Jobs. In reality the machines have hardly made an impact. A few fat US patrol officers and mall security guards can now scoot round the mall without using any calories.

One Reg hack believes he saw a pair of two wheel ploddies patrolling Dublin airport last year, but he was very, very hungover at the time. ®

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