A Co Antrim man who was killed in a freak accident while on a charity motorcycle tour of India had been on the trip of a lifetime when he died, his heartbroken wife has said.
Father-of-three Christopher Hallam died after his motorcycle collided with a car close to Kotagiri, a town in the state of Tamil Nadu, on Wednesday.
The accident happened when he swerved to avoid a cow in the road.
Poignantly, Christopher sent his wife Gillain a text on the day he died telling her how happy he was and how much he had been enjoying the tour.
“It was the trip of a lifetime,” Gillain told the Belfast Telegraph.
“It’s what he wanted to do, he was having a ball and was so happy.
“The last text I got from him was yesterday morning. He was going on safari and was about to go to the pool.
“It is tragic that he was so happy and then his life was just taken like that.”
The 39-year-old, from Glenvale Avenue in Portrush, was among 64 motorbike fans taking part in the two-week charity ride across southern India and was due home this weekend.
“It was such an adventure for him,” added Gillain.
“Christopher loved India and was made so welcome.
“He had also been invited back as one of the team members in two years’ time because of the passion he’d shown.”
Indian police said the group were on their way to the city of Kodaikanal.
The collision occurred after Christopher swerved to avoid |running into a cow on the Ooty-Kotagiri road, and collided with a car heading in the opposite direction.
His body was taken to the Government Hospital in Kotagiri for a post-mortem and police are investigating the accident.
Gillain said her husband loved life and was passionate about |motorbikes and music.
“He was just passionate about life; fun-loving, outgoing and sociable,” she added.
“He was a brilliant husband and father — just a real good guy.
“He loved motorbikes and had his own bike.
“The other big passion was music.
“He loved going to gigs and |was going to London to see The Who. His music collection was huge.”
She said their three children — Dylan (11), Skye (7) and Jake (3) — were stunned by their father’s death.
“They are devastated,” she said.
“Jake’s only three so he doesn’t really understand what’s happened, but the other two are just dealing with things in their own way.”
Christopher lived in Portrush, but had grown up in Ballymoney, where his parents Ivor and Anne and brother David still live.
Another brother, Stephen, is travelling back from England.
Bill Kennedy, the mayor of |Ballymoney, knows the Hallam family well and said he was stunned by Christopher’s death in India.
“This is terrible news for any family and for it to happen so far away in such tragic circumstances makes it all the more difficult to take,” he said.
“I have known the family all my life and it is devastating to hear this news.”