South Australia Police Commissioner Grant Stevens and his wife Emma have written an emotional letter to honour their son Charlie.
Charlie Stevens, 18, was on Beach Road at Goolwa Beach, about 67 kilometres south of Adelaide, for an end-of-school celebration when he was allegedly struck by a car at 9pm on Friday.
Charlie died about 7pm (7.30pm AEDT) on Saturday, surrounded by family and friends.
South Australia Police posted the hand-written letter to their Facebook page this morning about Charlie, who is the 101st person to die on the state’s road this year.
A full copy of the letter is below.
”I’m sitting writing this in a bedroom with dirty clothes on the floor, unmade bed, six drinking glasses lined up on the bedside table on an empty KFC box next to the glasses, wardrobe doors left open and a row of skateboards leaning on the wall.
“It’s a mess. And it’s perfect. This is where 101 lived.
“101 arrived on 28 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 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 skateboard. It was all or nothing. It was always all.
“101 hated cheese because his brother did.
“He was the master of the air fryer, the Nutribullet and the steamer.
“He loved his mum’s curried sausages but didn’t know where the dishwasher was.
“His favourite pastime was pushing mum’s buttons.
“Although a different name is on his birth certificate, ‘F— off Charlie’ is what you would hear first in our house followed 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 Saints, the Camels and Westies, he just wanted to play and be a part of the team.
“It was 101 who taught us you can’t shower unless you have got your Bluetooth speaker fully cranked so mum and dad can’t hear themselves in the kitchen.
“101 never wanted for soap, shampoo or shavers- someone else in the house always had it- even a used towel.
“His enthusiasm for school sore no bounds except, start time and school work.
“But his enthusiasm for family and his mates was real.
“101 had a circle of friends the rest of us could only dream about. He loved his mates. 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 weekends 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 angry is 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 and started his apprenticeship.
“‘Get up, mate’, ‘get up, mate’, ‘mate, get up’, ‘are you not going to work?’ Followed by ‘drive safely’, ‘don’t speed’ became the morning mantra.
“101 thrived at work, he loved working, loved his job and he idolised his boss.
“It meant he had money for TA Tuesdays and Wednesday Wings at the Feathers.
“101 was adored by sausage dogs Grace and Zoe, who would sneak into his bed at night.
“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.
“101 is Charles Hinchliffe Stephens. Charlie, Charlie boy, Chas, Links, Steve.
“You lived life and gave so much to many.
“You are a force of nature and we will never forget your beautiful, cheeky disarming smile.
“Son, brother, grandson, uncle, nephew, cousin, friend, workmate, team mate.
“So much more than just a number on a tragic tally.”