Yorkshire multi-millionaire and philanthropist James Heselden met with a sad and ironic end. The multi-millionaire owner of the Segway firm that makes motorized scooters died Monday in a freak accident while riding one of his electrically-powered vehicles.
Heselden, often called Jimi, was a flamboyant former miner who recently acquired the Segway motorised scooter company.
Segway tycoon dies in scooter cliff plunge
Jimi was testing a cross-country version of the two-wheeled Segway when he skidded into the river Wharfe, which runs close to his Yorkshire estate, according to Daily Mail.
The businessman, who was estimated to be worth £166 million, died after losing control of the X2 Adventure model and falling 30 feet down a cliff face and into a river.
His body was found in the River Wharfe at 11.40 a.m. on Sunday by a passer-by, Daily reports.
A Segway, an off-road version of the electric scooter, was found near his body.
Pronounced dead at the scene
Jimi was an avid sportsman with the vehicle but yesterday he reportedly lost control of the machine as he traveled along a bridleway close to his estate near Boston Spa, West Yorkshire.
Jimi was testing a cross-country version of the two-wheeled Segway when he skidded into the river Wharfe, which runs close to his Yorkshire estate.
Heselden was pulled from the river at about 11.40am on Sunday. He was pronounced dead by paramedics.
"Mr Heselden was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. The incident is not believed to be suspicious and the coroner has been informed," said a spokesman for West Yorkshire police, Guardian reports.
Family mourns the tragic loss
The Heselden family has confirmed the tragic news via a spokesman, saying, “Our family has been left devastated by the sudden and tragic loss of a much-loved father and husband,” as reported by Daily Mail.
There had been some ‘deeply upsetting’ speculation about the incident, but the spokesman added, “There is absolutely nothing to suggest it was anything other than a tragic accident.
“We would like to thank Jimi’s many friends and colleagues for their help and condolences at this very distressing time for the family.”
Tributes paid to the renowned philanthropist
Meanwhile, tributes have been paid to the former miner turned wealthy entrepreneur who also was renowned for his generous contributions to charities.
Widely known as on of Britain’s most generous philanthropists, Jimi recently donated £10 Million to the Leeds Community Foundation, brining his total given to that particular organization to £23 Million.
A statement from Hesco Bastion, following the self-made tycoon’s death said, "It is with great sadness that we have to confirm that Jimi Heselden OBE has died in a tragic accident near his home. Jimi is perhaps best known for his charity work with Help for Heroes and the Leeds Community Foundation.
"A £10m gift to the foundation earlier this month saw his lifetime charitable donations top £23m. Our thoughts go out to his family and many friends, who have asked for privacy at this time."
Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council, who worked closely with Heselden, said: “Jimi was an amazing man who, apart from being a wonderful success story for Leeds due to his business acumen, was also remarkably selfless and generous, giving millions to local charities to help people in his home city.”
Ranked 395th on the Sunday Times Rich List, Heselden had acquired Segway in January.
Twice-married Heselden is survived by wife Julie and four grown children.