South Australia Police deal with 2023 street dying carnage, name out ‘egocentric’ driving

November 25, 2023by Naomi Cramer

It’s Friday night time and 4 younger pals are out collectively celebrating Schoolies on the beachside city of Goolwa Seaside, south of Adelaide.

It ought to have been simply one other night time of their lengthy lives, nevertheless it collapsed into tragedy when one of many 4, Charlie Stevens, was killed in an alleged hit-and-run crash.

Charlie was the son of South Australian Police Commissioner Grant Stevens and his dying has shocked the state and solid a fierce torchlight on the ugly spike in street deaths which have pummelled South Australia throughout 2023.

Charlie’s dying marked the state’s a hundred and first street fatality from 103 in complete as of November 24.

In a heartbreaking letter, Mr Stevens and his spouse Emma paid tribute to their son, addressing him as “101” and celebrating his life whereas demonstrating that behind each street toll statistic lies a full life and a human being beloved by others.

Charlie Stevens has been remembered by his dad Grant as ‘so much more than just a number on a tragic tally’. Supplied
Digital camera IconCharlie Stevens has been remembered by his dad Grant as ‘a lot greater than only a quantity on a tragic tally’. Equipped Credit score: Equipped

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“I’m scripting 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 excellent. That is the place 101 lived,” the parents write.

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

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

The sense of grief on the horror of a sudden tragedy hanging at a beloved family who’ve given their lives to the companies of others is washing over the nation.

Federal Opposition Chief Peter Dutton has pledged to learn out the Stevens’ letter in parliament to protect it in historical past by means of the Hansard file.

“I, like everybody, you learn it, you already know my children are of an analogous age and it actually hits residence,” Mr Dutton instructed Melbourne’s 3AW.

Charlie’s death has shocked South Australia and put a burning spotlight on the state’s horror year on the roads. Supplied
Digital camera IconCharlie’s dying has shocked South Australia and put a burning highlight on the state’s horror 12 months on the roads. Equipped Credit score: Equipped

South Australian Premier Peter 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 serious about themselves and the way they get by means of it, but what they’re doing is considering of others,” he stated as his voice began to interrupt.

“Excited about how this tragedy may translate to a lesson for everyone else in the neighborhood, not simply serious about their son however serious about the opposite 100 victims who’ve been misplaced within the street toll.

“What marvellous individuals.”

What occurred on Friday night time?

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

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 experience.

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 mistaken facet of the street earlier than hitting Charlie, court paperwork reveal.

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

Digital camera IconDhirren Randhawa is accused of working down Charlie. NCA NewsWire / Roy VanDerVegt Credit score: Information Corp Australia

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

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

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

She states Mr Randhawa then drove a brief distance earlier than calling his mom and asking whether or not he ought to flip himself right into a police station or name the police.

As he was speaking to her, the police arrived and arrested him, she stated.

The information of cost doc, which recounts the eyewitness accounts, was on Monday lodged with Christies Seaside Magistrates Court, the place Mr Randhawa appeared for the primary time within the afternoon.

His mom Amreeta Stara attended the court, sitting within the entrance row of the room.

She sat silently and didn’t say something inside or exterior the courthouse.

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

The court granted Mr Randhawa bail and he left the court together with his mom and supporters within the late afternoon, shifting by means of a scrum of media right into a ready automobile.

Charlie suffered irreversible mind injury within the smash and Mr Stevens, his spouse Emma and their 4 different children, Sophie, Dylan, Josh and Tom, stated their goodbyes to Charlie at Flinders Medical Centre alongside prolonged household.

Charlie died at 7.01pm on November 18.

The police have charged Mr Randhawa with inflicting dying by harmful driving, aggravated driving with out due care, leaving the scene of a crash after inflicting dying 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.

Like Charlie, there’s a narrative and a life behind each quantity.

‘If I might commerce all my years left for you, I might …’

In a particular characteristic from Wednesday, the Adelaide Advertiser paid tribute to each life misplaced on the roads this 12 months.

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

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

And the trauma of street deaths engulfs extra than simply the direct victims.

A horrific car crash near Everard Central in South Australia's Mid-North just after 5pm on October 31 killed three people. 7 News
Digital camera IconA horrific automobile crash close to Everard Central in South Australia’s Mid-North simply after 5pm on October 31 killed three individuals. 7 Information Credit score: Information Corp Australia

When Archie Harrowfield, 17, grew to become 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, and not using a blink. For yet another day, yet another dialog,” he stated.

Paul Clark misplaced his whole household in a horror crash at Everard Central, about 120km north of Adelaide, on October 31.

Cynthia Clark, 84, and her daughter Jacquie, 54, have been killed when a van collided with their Honda Civic on the Templeton Rd and Blyth Rd intersection on October 31.

Digital camera IconThe variety of lives misplaced on South Australian roads hit 103 after a younger man died in a crash on the Anzac Freeway on Thursday. NCA NewsWire / Dean Martin Credit score: Information Corp Australia

Husband and father John Clark, 86, was within the rear of the Honda and suffered important accidents within the crash.

Paramedics flew him to Royal Adelaide Hospital for additional remedy, however he died from his accidents on November 6.

Paul was on vacation in Southeast Asia when the crash modified his life.

“I simply went right into a daze and shock and simply began arranging flights to return again,” he instructed The Advertiser.

“I’m nonetheless making an attempt to grasp what’s occurred.

“There’s quite a lot of shock actually, simply coming to phrases with it.”

The Highway Fatality knowledge

The variety of lives misplaced would quickly tick up once more to 103 after a 65-year-old truck driver died on the facet of Hanson Rd in Adelaide’s north whereas fixing an obvious breakdown on Wednesday, and a 26-year-old Andrews Farm man died in a crash on the Anzac Freeway on Thursday.

12 months-to-date, 2023 is the worst 12 months for street deaths since 2010, although some earlier years have recorded larger complete annual figures.

For a similar interval in 2022, the state recorded simply 61 deaths, which means this 12 months has recorded a 67 per cent spike in deaths.

South Aus Highway Toll 2010-2023

What is going on?

In an deal with to media on Friday, talking concerning the scenario on the state’s roads usually, State Operations Service Assistant Commissioner Ian Parrott stated there have been a “important variety of individuals” who continued to drive recklessly on the roads, placing the lives of others in danger.

Between November 13 and 19, he stated Operation Protected Pace had detected 1290 rushing offences.

By comparability, a four-day operation in Might detected 384 offences.

“The sort of angle from individuals is totally unacceptable, this can be very egocentric and this can be very harmful,” he stated.

The police attribute rushing as a consider 28 deaths this 12 months, whereas 14 are attributed to drink-driving and 15 to drug-driving.

“There’s a persevering with pattern of individuals exceeding the pace restrict, of individuals drink and drug driving. We’re on the market and we’re catching individuals,” Mr Parrott stated.

“There are lots of people doing the fitting factor … however there are far too many individuals taking far too many dangers.”

Mr Parrott emphasised the significance of “private accountability” in lowering the carnage.

South Australian Police Assistant Commissioner Ian Parrott says there are ‘far too many people taking far too many risks’ on the state’s roads. Duncan Evans
Digital camera IconSouth Australian Police Assistant Commissioner Ian Parrott says there are ‘far too many individuals taking far too many dangers’ on the state’s roads. Duncan Evans Credit score: Information Corp Australia

“Households want to speak to one another, parents want to inform children concerning the risks on the street and also you simply want to carry one another accountable,” he stated.

“All people has to play their half in order that we will truly cease individuals killing themselves on the street.”

Mr Malinauskas stated deliberate recklessness couldn’t be “tolerated”.

“We’re all responsible of it, being distracted on the roads sometimes,” the Premier instructed 5AA radio on Wednesday.

“You already know it may be children arguing within the again seat of the automobile, the temptation to have a look at a message on a telephone.

“It’s simply essential to remind ourselves that if you find yourself behind the wheel you settle for accountability, not only for your self and the opposite individuals within the automobile, however everybody else round us.

“However that’s distraction; the recklessness and folks rushing, and extra deliberate acts, are tougher to grasp. That’s the place we’ve simply bought to see a change in angle in behaviour.

“Regardless of the second is, you may be pissed off, otherwise you really feel the necessity that you’re in a rush to hurry, or no matter, it’s simply an unacceptable threat, and it could’t be tolerated.”


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

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

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

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

“It outlines aggravating circumstances which might end in larger penalties. It features a energy for police to impose a right away lack of licence on the roadside in the event that they fairly consider excessive pace has been dedicated.”

Police Press Conference
Digital camera IconSouth Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas says attitudes should change. NCA NewsWire / Kelly Barnes Credit score: Information Corp Australia

From January 1 subsequent 12 months, new legal guidelines will create a brand new offence of “inflicting dying 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 primary offence, seven years aggravated.

Minimal licence disqualification durations may even enhance from six months to at least one 12 months primary and three years aggravated.

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

“Our authorities has a zero-tolerance strategy to hoon driving and has launched powerful new penalties to fight harmful and egocentric behaviour on our roads.”

Mr Parrott additionally confirmed that police have been monitoring laws to evaluate if there have been any “gaps” within the legal guidelines.

“We’re at all times 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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