Charlie Stevens demise sends emotional shockwave via Australia

December 3, 2023by Naomi Cramer

The demise of a high cop’s 18-year-old larrikin son has despatched an emotional shockwave via the nation as Australians from each stroll of life confront the shock of a sudden tragedy putting at a beloved family.

Charlie Stevens, the son of South Australian Police Commissioner Grant Stevens, died after he was struck by a automobile in an alleged hit-and-run crash on November 17.

His demise hit house for 1000’s of Australians due to its obvious randomness and the popularity that, within the phrases of South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas, “dangerous issues” can occur to good individuals.

“They’re good individuals. All of us too typically discover ourselves desperately wishing that dangerous issues don’t occur to good individuals. But too typically that’s the case, and that is clearly an instance of it,” Mr Malinauskas stated on November 18 on the day Charlie died.

Charlie was farewelled in a funeral service on the Adelaide Oval on Thursday that shifted between tears and laughter because the thousand-strong mourners remembered the larger-than-life character.


Addressing his son immediately in his eulogy, Mr Stevens stated: “Charlie, your mum and I really like you. We’re devastated that you simply have been taken from us so quickly.

“We stated you have been a drive of nature, stuffed with vitality, unstoppable. Unforgettable.

“We’re heartbroken (however) we will’t consider you with out smiling.

“We have now missed you every single day since we stated goodbye and we’ll all the time miss you eternally, Charlie boy.”

Mr Stevens stated his son was “intense and immersed within the issues he liked”, together with his skateboard and want for a brand new automobile.

Mr Stevens’ voice broke when he appeared to Charlie’s buddies and thanked them for being with the household of their time of grief.

“It’s meant the world to us that Charlie’s mates have spent a lot time with us since we misplaced him,” he stated.

“It warmed our hearts to have that group of boys simply being in our house.”

Charlie’s tearful mates remembered their buddy, with Charlie’s loyalty, larger-than-life character and devotion to friendship shining via within the speeches.

“What really impressed me about you was your skill to dwell within the current … You have been all the time smiling, all the time dancing,” one buddy stated.

One other stated: “Charlie liked individuals and other people liked Charlie.”

One buddy promised to dwell a life Charlie can be pleased with.

The service began with Youth Group’s Eternally Younger sounding out via a packed William Magarey Room on the Oval.

Charlie’s siblings Dylan, Josh, Tom and Sophie wrapped their arms round each other as they farewelled their brother.

“Our hearts are shattering an increasing number of, daily,” Sophie stated as she held again tears.

“You aggravated absolutely the sh*t out of me on quite a few events, however I wouldn’t have modified it for the world.”

Brother Dylan described his brother as “charming” and “free spirited” and somebody who lived life to the fullest.

“I’ll all the time cherish the limitless hours spent within the yard taking part in both cricket, footy, basketball or tennis till the solar went down,” he stated.

“However this normally ended up with Charlie cracking the sh*ts and chasing one in every of us away with a bat,” he added laughing.

Brother Tom, whose track Nice Massive Solar opened the service, advised the gang he and his brother have been “reduce from the identical material”.

“I used to be so pleased with the younger man Hyperlinks (Charlie) had grown into, leaving college and discovering a ardour for his new life on the instruments,” he stated.

In the direction of the top of the service, the gang stood for a minute’s silence to mirror on what Charlie had meant to them.

Tom Rehn, an in depth household buddy, closed the night time with: “Charlie, we’re so glad you lived.

“We cherish the time we spent with you. And should your spirit dwell on via our recollections.”

Earlier than the service, the Stevens household expressed their gratitude for the general public’s expressions of sympathy and requested individuals to donate to Operation Flinders in lieu of flowers and likewise take into account organ donation.

“Sincerely thanks to everybody who has contacted us in a roundabout way. If we now have not responded but we’ll endeavour to take action as greatest we will and after we can.

“Now could be the time for us to regroup as a household and deal with how we transfer ahead with out our very particular Charlie.

“Thanks as soon as once more to everybody for all of your form assist and love.”


Charlie was struck and killed in an alleged hit-and-run crash at Goolwa Seashore on November 17 whereas celebrating Schoolies together with his mates.

Charlie suffered irreversible mind harm within the smash and his household stated their goodbyes to him at Flinders Medical Centre alongside prolonged household.

Charlie died at 7.01pm on November 18, changing into the a hundred and first individual to die on SA roads this yr.

The primary particulars of the alleged hit-and-run emerged in court paperwork on November 20.

Three witnesses, who say they have been ready with Charlie on Seashore Rd for a shuttle bus to take them again to Victor Harbor from Goolwa Seashore, say they flagged down the accused driver, Dhirren Randhawa, 18, to see if they might hitch a journey.

There was not sufficient room within the automobile and the witnesses say Mr Randhawa drove away earlier than making a U-turn.

He then allegedly sped up and began travelling on the incorrect facet of the highway earlier than hitting Charlie, court paperwork reveal.

There is no such thing as a suggestion of animosity between the teams.

bail on November 20, 2023.”>

Accused Hit-and-Run Driver Leaves Court

However Montana Rose Bowd, an eyewitness from inside Mr Dhirren’s automobile, tells a unique story, in line with the court paperwork.

Ms Bowd states some males have been on the western facet of the highway and partially on the footpath, however there was additionally a male on the japanese facet of the highway.

She says a male from the japanese facet ran throughout the highway into Mr Randhawa’s automobile, in line with the court paperwork.

The police have charged Mr Randhawa with inflicting demise by harmful driving, aggravated driving with out due care, leaving the scene of a crash after inflicting demise and failing to really reply questions.

If he’s discovered responsible, he faces a most jail time period of 15 years and disqualification from holding or acquiring a driver’s licence for 10 years.


A shockwave of ache engulfed South Australia instantly and the heartache swept throughout the nation following the discharge of a public letter from Charlie’s parents simply days after his demise during which they consult with their son as “101”.

“I’m penning this sitting in a bed room with soiled garments on the ground, an unmade mattress, six ingesting glasses lined up on the bedside desk, an empty KFC field subsequent to the glasses, wardrobe doorways left open and a row of skateboards leaning on the wall – it’s a mess and it’s good. That is the place 101 lived,” Mr Stevens wrote.

“Cheeky, intense and humorous – a loveable ratbag from the second he may speak. He was as irritating as hell, however he was additionally the child who would take care of others, befriend the lonely, and assist those that have been struggling.

“Depth shone via as 101 dedicated to every new ardour – Lego, BBL, scooters, footy, cricket, basketball, browsing, downhilling, Fortnight and his skateboard – it was all or nothing and it was all the time all.

Tom Rehn breaks down reading Stevens' letter (9News)

“101 is Charles Stevens – Charlie, Charlie Boy, Chas, Hyperlinks, Steve. You lived life and gave a lot to so many. You have been a drive of nature and we’ll always remember your lovely cheeky, disarming smile.

“Son, brother, grandson, uncle, nephew, cousin, buddies, workmate, teammate. A lot greater than only a quantity on a tragic tally.”

The outstanding letter produced a flood of tears.

Dawn host Natalie Barr broke down dwell on TV, whereas her co-host Matthew Shirvington learn an excerpt from the letter, his personal voice breaking at one level.

Mr Malinauskas stated he and his spouse Annabel shed tears studying the emotional letter.

“Right here’s a household that’s grieving, has each cause to be completely devastated and occupied with themselves and the way they get via it, but what they’re doing is considering of others,” he stated.

“Enthusiastic about how this tragedy may translate to a lesson for everyone else locally, not simply occupied with their son however occupied with the opposite 100 victims who’ve been misplaced within the highway toll.

“What marvellous individuals.”

The letter has now been preserved in Australian parliamentary historical past after federal Opposition Chief Peter Dutton learn the letter to the Home on Tuesday in tribute to Mr Stevens and his household following a dialog with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

“Son, brother, grandson, uncle, nephew, cousin, buddy, workmate, teammate, a lot greater than only a quantity on a tragic tally,” he learn.

The Opposition Chief took a pause throughout his speech, showing to be in tears, as he learn the letter during which Mr Stevens recalled his late son as a “loveable ratbag from the second he may speak”.


Charlie’s legacy will dwell on and never simply within the minds and recollections of these he touched.

Mr Stevens advised mourners that Charlie had signed as much as grow to be an organ donor, one thing they talked about when the teenager first received his driver’s license.

And Mr Rehn advised the FIVEaa radio station on Friday morning it was understood Charlie’s kidney had been given to a neighborhood father of 4.

“He (the daddy) was on dialysis and given a month to dwell and now will get a model new kidney and one other probability at life,” Mr Rehn stated.

Mr Malinauskas introduced on Thursday the state authorities would donate $100,000 to Operation Flinders in honour of Charlie after his parents requested the general public to assist the charity of their son’s reminiscence.

Operation Flinders runs eight-day applications within the Northern Flinders Ranges for 13 to 18-year-olds, the place younger individuals trek as much as 100km, expertise Indigenous tradition, abseil and study bushcraft.

Mr Malinauskas stated the donation mirrored how deeply Charlie’s demise had affected South Australians.

“This contribution is an acceptable manner for us to point out our assist for Grant, Emma and the Stevens household,” he stated.

“Operation Flinders does vital work enhancing the lives of younger South Australians, and it is a becoming solution to honour Charlie.”

Operation Flinders chief govt David Wark stated the organisation was “humbled” by the donation and would work intently with the Stevens household transferring ahead to make sure Charlie’s legacy lived on via the a whole bunch of different younger individuals Operation Flinders would assist.

“We’ll attempt to make sure Charlie’s legacy can be recognised via applications and alternatives which is able to affect on younger individuals the Stevens household won’t ever meet, which is the final word act of generosity,” he stated.

Charlie’s demise has additionally forged a torchlight on the horror yr on South Australian roads and the devastation induced to numerous households.

There have now been 105 lives misplaced on the state’s roads this yr and it’s shaping to be the worst for fatalities in additional than a decade.

In a particular characteristic from November 22, the Adelaide Advertiser paid tribute to each life misplaced on the roads this yr.

Alex “Tucka” Henschke, 23, was the twenty seventh individual to die on the roads after his Yamaha bike crashed into 4 automobiles on Port Rd in Adelaide.

Tatiana Tenikoff, 22, turned the state’s 54th fatality when her Toyota sedan veered off the highway and crashed right into a tree on Uley Rd, Uleybury.

When Archie Harrowfield, 17, turned the 74th fatality, his brother Jamie O’Callaghan wrote on social media how “unfair” it appeared.

“If I may commerce all my years left for you I might, with no blink. For yet another day, yet another dialog,” he stated.

The federal government has launched harder measures to crack down on harmful driving.

The “excessive velocity” legal guidelines that got here into impact in late 2022 ramp up penalties for offenders.

The laws applies the place a driver exceeds the velocity restrict by 55km/h or extra on a highway the place the velocity restrict is 60km/h or much less or exceeds the velocity restrict by 80km/h or extra on a highway the place the velocity restrict is greater than 60km/h.

“The offence is punishable by imprisonment and a minimal interval of licence disqualification,” a authorities spokesman stated.

From January 1 subsequent yr, new legal guidelines will create a brand new offence of “inflicting demise or critical hurt by careless use of a automobile or vessel”, lifting out there penalties from a most 12 months imprisonment to 5 years imprisonment for a fundamental offence, seven years aggravated.

Minimal licence disqualification durations may even enhance from six months to at least one yr fundamental and three years aggravated.

“Notably, these are solely the necessary minimal beginning factors for licence disqualification, and courts will impose longer durations the place acceptable,” the spokesman stated.

South Australian Police Assistant Commissioner Ian Parrott additionally confirmed that police have been monitoring laws to evaluate if there have been any “gaps” within the legal guidelines.

“We’re all the time contemplating laws,” he stated.

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by Naomi Cramer

Auckland Lawyer for FIRST TIME Offenders Seeking to Avoid a Conviction. Family Law Expert in Child Care Custody Disputes. If you are facing Court Naomi will make you feel comfortable every step of the way.  As a consummate professional your goals become hers, with customer service as our top priority. It has always been Naomi’s philosophy to approach whatever you do in life with bold enthusiasm and pure dedication. Complement this with her genuine passion for equal justice and rights for all and you have the formula for success. Naomi is a highly skilled Court lawyer having practised for more than 20 years. She serves the greater Auckland region and can travel to represent clients throughout NZ With extensive experience, an analytical eye for detail, and continuing legal education Naomi’s skill set will maximise your legal rights whilst offering a holistic approach that best fits your individual needs. This is further enhanced with her high level of support and understanding. Naomi will redefine what you expect from your legal professional, facilitating a seamless experience from start to finish.   Her approachable and adaptive demeanor serves her well when working with the diverse cultures that make up the Auckland region. Blend her open and honest approach to her transparent process and you can see why she routinely delivers the satisfying results her clients deserve. If you want to maximise your legal rights, we recommend you book an appointment with Naomi today so she can detail the steps for you to achieve your goals. 

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