DISHEARTENING is one word to describe the recent tragic loss of a New Zealand family’s loving husband and father-of-three, Ian Pullen.
Mr Pullen, 44, was a dedicated pilot who had spent numerous years accumulating the skills to fly both helicopters and planes for joy rides, tours and rural aid assistance.
But, his short life ended on a street near Singleton last weekend following an alleged hit and run.
“Ian was a pilot. They are a breed of their own, he lived to fly,” his distraught widow, Vicki, said.
The humble Kiwi hero left his wife, children and beekeeping acreage home in Kaiteke Valley, New Zealand, to travel to Australia and help the Rural Fire Service fight bushfires across NSW.
“After a few close calls Ian had decided that he would retire from flying for most of the year, which is why he became a beekeeper, and just go back over to Australia for the fire season,” Mrs Pullen explained.
Vicki and Ian would have been celebrating their 24th wedding anniversary this week but, instead, she is travelling to collect her husband’s body to return home.
“The loss of Ian has affected not only me, but his children,” she said.
“It is a tragic way to bring our family together.
“Our youngest daughter Charlotte was the apple of Ian’s eye.
“Being only 13, she’s still very much a daddy’s girl and she and her brothers would regularly remind me of this.”
It is believed Mr Pullen was struck and killed by a motor vehicle on Carrington Street, Glendridding, between the early hours of 4am and 5.30am on Saturday, September 29.
Mrs Pullen flew into Australia on Thursday, saddened but determined to retrieve her late husband’s body.
“We have been contacted by so many strangers just wanting us to know that Singleton and Newcastle, and the state in general, are behind us,” she said.
“I’m not thinking about the driver any longer.
“He or she made their decision to not stop and get help for my Ian.
“I have enough to deal with so have chosen to stop thinking of them.”
To help the Pullens in their time of need, and to pay the unexpected and overwhelming costs related to the incredibly tragic loss, visit https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/bring-kiwi-chopperman-home
While these funds won’t bring their beloved family member back, it will allow them to get him home, as well as assist with immediate expenses for the funeral and day-to-day costs.