South Australia Police Commissioner Grant Stevens has penned an emotional letter to his youngest son Charlie who died after allegedly being hit by a car on Schoolies.
‘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 skateboards leaning on the wall – it is a mess and it’s perfect. This is where 101 lived,’ he wrote.
101 refers to the 101st life lost on South Australian roads this year.
‘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,’ Commissioner Stevens continued.
‘He was as frustrating as hell, but he was also the kid who would look after others, befriend the lonely and help those who were struggling.
‘Intensity shone through as 101 committed to each new passion – Lego, BBL, scooters, footy, cricket, basketball, surfing, downhilling, Fortnite and his skateboard – it was all or nothing and it was always all.
‘101 hated cheese because his brother did. He was a master of the airfryer, the nutrabullet and the steamer. He loved his mum’s curries sausages but he didn’t know where the dishwasher was.
‘His favourite pastime was pushing mum’s buttons – although a different name on his birth certificate, ”f**k off Charlie” was what you would hear most in our house, followed closely by ”put a shirt on” and ”take your hat off at the table”.
‘101 loved footy. He loved the Cats, he played 100 games for the Mitcham Hawks, then the Jets, the Goody Sained, the Camels and Westies, he just wanted to play and be part of the team.
South Australia Police Commissioner Grant Stevens has penned an emotional letter to his youngest son Charlie who died after suffering an irreversible brain injury when he was allegedly hit by a car on Schoolies
‘It was 101 who taught us you can’t shower unless you have your bluetooth speaker fully cranked so mum and dad can’t hear themselves talk in the kitchen. 101 never wanted for soap, shampoo or shavers – someone else in the house always has it – even a used towel!
‘His enthusiasm for school saw no bounds – except start time and school work. But his Enthusiasm for his family and his mates was real.
‘101 has a circle of friends the rest of us could only dream about. He loved his mates and they loved him. His friends’ parents liked having 101 in their homes. He was mates with his brother’s mates.
‘Living with him meant waking up on weekend to four or five extra bodies in spare beds and on couches. It meant the family garage being transformed into a man cave where things parents did not know about (or probably permit) could happen.
‘The only time we saw 101 truly angry was when he was forced to cut his precious hair for his sister’s wedding in 2021. He never went back to a hairdresser again.
‘Being 101’s alarm clock was a role his mum and I took up when he left school and started an apprenticeship. ”Get up mate, get up mate”, ”mate, get up”, ”are you not going to work today?”, following by ”drive safely and don’t speed” becoming the morning mantra.
‘101 thrived at work, he loved working, loved his job and idolised his boss. It meant he had money for TA Tuesdays and Wednesday Wings at the Feathers.
‘101 was adored by the sausage dogs Grace and Zoe who would sneak into his bed at night.
His father said he was the kid who would look after others, befriend the lonely and always check in on his mates
‘On a good day, we could 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.
‘101 is Charles Stevens – Charlie, Charlie Boy, Chas, Links, Steve. 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, friends, workmate, teammate. So much more than just a number on a tragic tally.’
The 18-year-old was with friends waiting for a bus to head to Schoolies celebrations in Victor Harbor when he was allegedly struck by Dhirren Randhawa, also 18, in Goolwa, south of Adelaide, about 9pm on Friday.
Mr Stevens died 22 hours later in hospital, while Mr Randhawa was arrested a short time later on a nearby street after allegedly fleeing the scene.
Randhawa was later charged with causing death by dangerous driving, aggravated driving without due care, leaving the scene of a crash after causing death and failing to truly answer questions.