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Segway changes everything

  1. Sep 27, 2010 #1
    James Heselden, owner of Segway Inc. died yesterday when he drove his Segway off a cliff and into a river.
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2010/09/27/2010-09-27_segway_company_owner_jimi_heselden_dies_in_england_after_riding_a_segway_off_cli.html" [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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  3. Sep 27, 2010 #2

    lisab

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    Ouch. And after all the assurances that they're safe and easy to learn.

    I have no direct experience with them - anyone here ever ride on one?
     
  4. Sep 27, 2010 #3
    I experienced Segs in the City in Washington DC. I spent a pleasant hour riding and taking in the sights, never realizing how close I was to disaster.
     
  5. Sep 27, 2010 #4

    jtbell

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    My department chairman rides one to work most days, a bit over a km each way. I've tried it out a couple of times, just back and forth in the hall and on the sidewalk outside our building. After the first few minutes it feels very natural.

    Every now and then you see stories about someone driving his car off the side of a parking deck because of some seemingly minor slipup like hitting the gas pedal instead of the brake. I expect this was something similar. Or maybe the path gave way unexpectedly.
     
  6. Sep 27, 2010 #5

    Evo

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    Maybe he suffered a heart attack or a stroke. There weren't really any details on what happened.

    The security guards at work use them to get around because they are too old and fat to walk, seriously.
     
  7. Sep 27, 2010 #6
    Having seen "comedic" videos of people driving their car into delis, gas pumps, and more... this doesn't shock me. **** happens, even on a Segway. I've used one a few time, and frankly it's pretty easy and natural.

    Evo: If he did, I think he'd fall off the Segway, and given the "lean to go" nature that would seem to be unlikely.
     
  8. Sep 27, 2010 #7

    Evo

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    A *minor* attack could confuse/startle him and'or freeze him up just enough to cause an accident. You don't just keel over like in the movies, you don't pass out either.
     
  9. Sep 27, 2010 #8
    I've never ridden one. They had a booth set up in one of the local malls during the holidays (Christmas 2009), and a "racetrack" of sorts set up on the floor of a vacant store front.

    $12 for fifteen minutes!

    I passed. Too steep a price.

    The article I read this morning say he fell about 30 feet into the river. That's not all that high for a water landing, but if you land wrong it can really pack a wallop, particularly if you're going in and under with several dozen pounds of motorized vehicle.

    I'm sorry to hear of his premature demise. Perhaps if he'd been using http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2008/08/video-monster-e/" [Broken], instead...

    While riding my bicycle through the Garden of the Gods last year, I was passed by three people on Segways. However, I was going uphill at the time. Shortly after I crested the hill, I passed them, and never saw them again.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  10. Sep 27, 2010 #9
    :rofl: I know Evo, I know, but shooting pains, or shortness of breath or ataxia... etc... these wouldn't be the kind of things that would keep you in the "leaning forward" position. The reaction I would expect would be panic, loss of balance, or jerking upright. For the heart attack to be acute enough to be the cause of the accident, it would have to be symptomatic enough to make it an unlikely culprit. A stroke... now that could do it, and in fact it could make the poor fellow unable to lean back at all. I could see someone in that situation leaning forward for support on the handles.

    I would add... if you suffer Sudden Cardiac Arrest (not to be confused with a "heart attack) you do indeed keel over.
     
  11. Sep 27, 2010 #10

    Evo

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    No one knows if he was moving at the time, or stopped. If it was a mechanical failure, it would be a safe assumption that he would have jumped or purposely fallen off of the segway before he went off the cliff.
     
  12. Sep 27, 2010 #11
    I vote for "inattention", because nearly everything else results in involuntarily falling off, or the ability to "bail". I suppose it could have been suicide...
     
  13. Sep 27, 2010 #12

    Ivan Seeking

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    I'm thinkin this was either the work of the Russians, or the bicycle industry.
     
  14. Sep 27, 2010 #13
    :rofl: How about the Russian bicycle industry?!?!
     
  15. Sep 27, 2010 #14

    Ivan Seeking

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    Вот и все!
     
  16. Sep 27, 2010 #15

    cronxeh

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    Call me fickle, but I laughed at this story.
     
  17. Sep 27, 2010 #16

    DaveC426913

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    I am not sure whether to be relieved that another human reacted the same way I did, or mortified that it was cronxeh...

    :rofl:
     
  18. Sep 27, 2010 #17

    DaveC426913

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    My bet is thus:

    That the lead-up to the cliff is a downslope. Considering that, to stop a Segway, one must lean back, I'm thinkin' he was unable to bring it to a halt.
     
  19. Sep 27, 2010 #18
    i'm thinking that poor segway sacrificed itself to prevent him from driving the company over a cliff
     
  20. Sep 27, 2010 #19

    Pythagorean

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  21. Sep 27, 2010 #20
    The same thing would have happened if he was on a bike, a scooter or any other form of mechanical transport. I guess the moral of the story is don't play near the edges of tall cliffs.
     
  22. Sep 27, 2010 #21

    cronxeh

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  23. Sep 28, 2010 #22
    I have ridden them numerous times. Including the "off-road" version.

    If he road it off a cliff, it was his own error - the things don't exactly go Haywire.


    Poor guy and his family. A Shame when anyone dies.
     
  24. Sep 28, 2010 #23

    Danger

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    I could sure use one of those things (if I could afford it). They're illegal here, though.
     
  25. Sep 28, 2010 #24
    Who is this guy, Wile E. Coyote? Who honestly falls off cliffs? And he rode a Segway off of it to boot; a company he owns.
    What's next, is the owner of Acme Anvils going have an anvil fall on his head? We should warn him that a little umbrella won't save him.
     
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