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Arrive alive, Segway style

September 28, 2010 - Deb Gau

A lot of the time, "news of the weird" articles are meant to be rather humorous. You chuckle, say something like, "Don't that beat all?" and move on to reading the comics page. But this week, coverage of the death of Segway company owner Jimi Heselden has defied my expectations by playing things completely straight.

How did Heselden die, you ask? He accidentally drove a Segway off a cliff and into a river. Tragic, though if you're a twisted, heartless freak like me, you have a hard time getting past the irony of the situation. However, none of the news reports I've read thus far have even brought irony up. In fact, just about the only related coverage I can find online is a bunch of scare pieces asking about the safety of Segways. An article on the Today Show's Web site mentioned that reports of head and facial injuries from accidents on the self-balancing scooters are on the rise.

Sigh. I know it's not hard to be disappointed by fluffy morning news shows, but for me reading that article was what Internet parlance calls a "facepalm" moment. More Segway accidents, you say? Gee, you don't think it's because more people are finally starting to ride these expensive gizmos, do you? Or that maybe "head and facial injuries" translates to "wasn't wearing a helmet on a motorized, open-topped vehicle with max speeds of more than 12 mph?"

Geez. Going by that logic, I'd expect to see a slew of anti-bicycle campaigns underway in this country.


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