Charlie Stevens laid to relaxation as Australia grieves for a household’s heartache

December 3, 2023by Naomi Cramer


The loss of life of a prime 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 placing 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 loss of life hit dwelling 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 usually discover ourselves desperately wishing that dangerous issues don’t occur to good individuals. But too usually that’s the case, and that is clearly an instance of it,” Mr Malinauskas mentioned 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.

‘FORCE OF NATURE’

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

“We mentioned you have been a power of nature, stuffed with vitality, unstoppable. Unforgettable.

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

“We’ve missed you day-after-day since we mentioned goodbye and we are going to all the time miss you without end, Charlie boy.”

CHARLIE STEVENS MEMORIAL
Digicam IconCharlie Stevens’ parents Grant and Emma mentioned their son was ‘unforgettable’. NCA NewsWire / Ben Clark Credit score: Information Corp Australia

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

Mr Stevens’ voice broke when he regarded to Charlie’s mates 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 mentioned.

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

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

CHARLIE STEVENS MEMORIAL
Digicam IconCharlie’s mates bear in mind the beloved larrikin teen. NCA NewsWire / Ben Clark Credit score: Information Corp Australia

“What actually impressed me about you was your capacity to reside within the current … You have been all the time smiling, all the time dancing,” one pal mentioned.

One other mentioned: “Charlie cherished individuals and folks cherished Charlie.”

One pal promised to reside a life Charlie can be pleased with.

The service began with Youth Group’s Without end 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 increasingly more, day-to-day,” Sophie mentioned as she held again tears.

CHARLIE STEVENS MEMORIAL
Digicam IconCharlie’s siblings (from left to proper) Josh, Dylan, Tom and Sophie bear in mind their brother. NCA NewsWire / Ben Clark Credit score: Information Corp Australia

“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 countless hours spent within the yard taking part in both cricket, footy, basketball or tennis till the solar went down,” he mentioned.

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

Brother Tom, whose tune Nice Large Solar opened the service, informed the group he and his brother have been “reduce from the identical fabric”.

CHARLIE STEVENS MEMORIAL
Digicam IconMourners attended a twilight service celebration at Adelaide Oval to honour the lifetime of 18-year-old Charlie. NCA NewsWire / Ben Clark Credit score: Information Corp Australia

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

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

Tom Rehn, a detailed household pal, closed the night time with: “Charlie, we’re so glad you lived.

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

CHARLIE STEVENS MEMORIAL
Digicam IconCharlie was struck and killed in an alleged hit-and-run crash at Goolwa Seaside whereas he was out celebrating Schoolies with mates. His loss of life marked the one hundred and first life misplaced on South Australia’s roads for 2023. NCA NewsWire / Ben Clark Credit score: Information Corp Australia

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 in addition take into account organ donation.

“Sincerely thanks to everybody who has contacted us not directly. If we’ve got not responded but we are going to endeavour to take action as greatest we will and after we can.

“Now’s 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 help and love.”

WHAT HAPPENED?

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

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

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

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

CHARLIE STEVENS MEMORIAL
Digicam IconThe service featured a photograph montage of Charlie’s life. NCA NewsWire / Ben Clark Credit score: Information Corp Australia

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

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 unsuitable aspect of the street earlier than hitting Charlie, court paperwork reveal.

There isn’t any suggestion of animosity between the teams.

Accused Charlie Stevens hit-and-run driver Dhirren Randhawa leaves Christies Seaside Magistrates Court after being granted bail on November 20, 2023.

However Montana Rose Bowd, an eyewitness from inside Mr Dhirren’s automobile, tells a distinct story, in response to the court paperwork.

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

She says a male from the japanese aspect ran throughout the street into Mr Randhawa’s automobile, in response to the court paperwork.

The police have charged Mr Randhawa with inflicting loss of life by harmful driving, aggravated driving with out due care, leaving the scene of a crash after inflicting loss of life and failing to actually 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.

THE LETTER

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 loss of life by which they discuss with their son as “101”.

“I’m penning this sitting in a bed room with soiled garments on the ground, an unmade mattress, six consuming 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 might 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 as he reads Grant Stevens’ highly effective letter paying tribute to his son Charlie, who was tragically killed in a hit-and-run crash.

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

“Son, brother, grandson, uncle, nephew, cousin, mates, 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 reside on TV, whereas her co-host Matthew Shirvington learn an excerpt from the letter, his personal voice breaking at one level.

Sunrise TV presenter Natalie Barr cries during a reading of Police Commissioner Grant Stevens’ letter to his son Charlie. Supplied
Digicam IconDawn TV presenter Natalie Barr cries throughout a studying of Police Commissioner Grant Stevens’ letter to his son Charlie. Provided Credit score: Provided

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

“Right here’s a household that’s grieving, has each purpose to be totally devastated and fascinated by themselves and the way they get via it, but what they’re doing is considering of others,” he mentioned.

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

“What marvellous individuals.”

QUESTION TIME
Digicam IconOpposition Chief Peter Dutton learn the letter in parliament to protect it within the Hansard report. NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman Credit score: Information Corp Australia

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, pal, 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 by which Mr Stevens recalled his late son as a “loveable ratbag from the second he might speak”.

A YOUNG MAN’S LEGACY

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

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

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

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

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 help the charity of their son’s reminiscence.

Operation Flinders runs eight-day packages 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 mentioned the donation mirrored how deeply Charlie’s loss of life had affected South Australians.

“This contribution is an applicable means for us to indicate our help for Grant, Emma and the Stevens household,” he mentioned.

“Operation Flinders does necessary work enhancing the lives of younger South Australians, and this can be a becoming approach to honour Charlie.”

Police Press Conference
Digicam IconDeputy Commissioner Linda Williams and South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas converse with the media after Charlie’s loss of life. NCA NewsWire / Kelly Barnes Credit score: Information Corp Australia

Operation Flinders chief government David Wark mentioned 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 lots of of different younger individuals Operation Flinders would assist.

“We are going to try to make sure Charlie’s legacy will likely be recognised via packages and alternatives which can impression on younger individuals the Stevens household won’t ever meet, which is the last word act of generosity,” he mentioned.

Charlie’s loss of life has additionally solid a torchlight on the horror yr on South Australian roads and the devastation triggered 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 function 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 particular person to die on the roads after his Yamaha bike crashed into 4 vehicles on Port Rd in Adelaide.

Tatiana Tenikoff, 22, turned the state’s 54th fatality when her Toyota sedan veered off the street 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 might commerce all my years left for you I might, with no blink. For yet one more day, yet one more dialog,” he mentioned.

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

CHARLIE STEVENS MEMORIAL
Digicam IconCharlie was bigger than life. NCA NewsWire / Ben Clark Credit score: Information Corp Australia

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 street the place the velocity restrict is 60km/h or much less or exceeds the velocity restrict by 80km/h or extra on a street 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 mentioned.

From January 1 subsequent yr, new legal guidelines will create a brand new offence of “inflicting loss of life or severe hurt by careless use of a car or vessel”, lifting obtainable penalties from a most 12 months imprisonment to 5 years imprisonment for a primary offence, seven years aggravated.

Minimal licence disqualification durations will even improve from six months to 1 yr primary and three years aggravated.

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

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 mentioned.



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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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