From West Yorkshire, England comes today’s dosage of tragic irony. Witnesses said they saw James Heseldon — the British multi-millionaire who purchased the Segway company last December — topple off the side of a 30-foor cliff near his estate, and into the River Wharfe. When rescuers reached the 62-year old, he was found to be dead. And with him was the vehicle that he had been riding at the time of his fall: a Segway, the very product his company made.
As tempting as it is to compare the story to, say, a character’s fate in a black comedy, Heseldon seems like too decent a person to be reduced to a punchline. A self-made man, he worked his way out of the mines in Leeds to become the chairman of a company that constructs barriers to fortify military bases, reports NPR. He never left Leeds, building his headquarters just a short walk from his childhood home. Also, he gave over $23 million to charity.
Perhaps there needs to be an inquiry into whether the futuristic, souped-up, one-person scooter is actually safe to ride, and not just trendy or attractive. Then again accidents — and cliffs — do happen.