South Australian Police Commissioner Grant Stevens and his wife Emma have shared a heartfelt letter following the tragic death of their 18-year-old son Charlie, who was killed in an alleged hit-and-run last Friday.
In celebration of the end of his year 12 exams, Charlie attended Schoolies 2023 last Friday with a bunch of mates at Goolwa beach, near Victor Harbor, 67kms south of Adelaide.
As per 9News, at around 9pm, Charlie was reportedly involved in an alleged hit-and-run incident and was airlifted to Flinders Medical Centre. The teen then passed away at around 7pm on Saturday, surrounded by his friends and family — including his father, the state’s Police Commissioner, Grant Stevens.
Charlie was said to have sustained irreversible brain injuries from the incident.
On Tuesday, the SA Police Commissioner and his wife commemorated their son in a touching letter, which was shared on the SAPOL Facebook page.
Although the letter noted that Charlie’s death was the 101st fatality on SA roads this year, Grant and Emma wanted the public to remember their son as “more than just a number of a tragic tally”.
“I am writing this sitting in a bedroom with dirty clothes on the floor, an unmade bed, six drinking glasses lined up on the bedside table, an empty KFC box next to the glasses, wardrobe doors left open and a row of skateboard leaning on the wall — it is a mess and it is perfect. This is where 101 lived,” the letter began.
“101 arrived on the 28th of April 2005 and changed our lives forever. The last of five — he was different. Cheeky, intense and funny — a loveable ratbag from the moment he could talk.
“He was frustrating as hell, but he was also the kid who would look after others, befriend the lonely and help those who were struggling.”
The letter continued to reminisce on all the things that made the apprentice carpenter unique, such as noting his love for the footy, expertise in airfyer cooking, being unable to shower without a bumping Bluetooth speaker and his enthusiasm for his family and friends.
It also mentioned that he had a “circle of friends the rest of us could only dream about” and that he was “adored by the sausage dogs Grace and Zoe”.
The letter even reflected on the one time where Charlie was “truly angry”, which was when he was “forced to cut his precious hair for his sister’s wedding in 2021”.
“He loved working, loved his job and idolised his boss. It meant he had money for TA Tuesdays and Wednesday Wings at the Feathers,” the letter continued.
“On a good day, we would be lucky to see 101 for half an hour between him getting home from work and heading out with his mates, but it was enough.”
The letter closed with a paragraph about Charlie’s identity and how he would be remembered as a “force of nature”.
“101 is Charles Hinchcliffe Stevens — Charlie, Charlie boy, Chas, Links, Steve,” the letter reads.
“You lived life and gave so much to so many. You were a force of nature and we will never forget your beautiful, cheeky, disarming smile.
“Son, brother, grandson, uncle, nephew, cousin, friend, workmate, teammate.
“So much more than just a number on a tragic tally.”
In the Facebook post, the Police Commissioner and his wife drew attention to organ donation and its importance.
SA Premier Peter Malinauskas extended his condolences to the Police Commissioner and his family in a press conference over the weekend.
“It is just so unfair that he and his family have now had to endure this great tragedy themselves,” he said.
According to the Adelaide Advertiser, the alleged driver is an 18-year-old from Encounter Bay.
The alleged suspect is set to appear in court on November 20.
Image source: 9News / SAPOL