James W. Heselden died recently while touring his property on a segway, reports The New York Times. He was 62 years old.
His body was found late Sunday morning after a passer-by reported seeing a man plummet 30 feet into the River Wharfe, the police said, adding that a “Segway-style vehicle” had also been found.
They did not say what had caused the accident.
Mr. Heselden was born in Leeds, in modest circumstances, and left school at 15. He worked as a coal miner, lost his job after the 1984 miners’ strike, and used his severance pay to start Hesco Bastion, which manufactures the Hesco barriers he invented in 1990.
The barriers – galvanized-steel mesh baskets rising to chest height that can be filled with dirt – were originally developed as flood control devices, and have been used in places like New Orleans and Iowa. Light, portable and easy to assemble, they have also replaced sandbags as a feature of virtually every defensive barrier deployed by coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and are standard equipment for NATO.
Mr. Dailida said that Segway was still trying to find out more about what caused Mr. Heselden to go off the cliff. Mr. Heselden is survived by his wife, Julie; five children, and eight grandchildren.
Mr. Heselden was a wealthy British businessman who owns the company that makes the two-wheeled Segway. The Segway was invented by Dean Kamen.
Photo from Segway