Mum’s final words to young son revealed

Charlie Stevens, 18, was waiting for a bus to head to Schoolies celebrations with friends when he was struck by a car driven by Dhirren Randhawa in Goolwa, south of Adelaide, on November 17 last year.

He was rushed to hospital in a critical condition but died the next day from a severe brain injury surrounded by his family.

Charlie’s life support was turned off a day after the crash, making him SA’s 101st road victim for the year.

“It was good to spend time with him, but the hardest thing was leaving for the last time,” Mr Stevens said.

Ms Stevens shared her last words to her youngest born.

“I just said, ‘I love you. You’re my baby, and you always will be’,” she said.

Charlie Stevens with his father, South Australian Police Commissioner Grant Stevens. Picture: Supplied
Charlie Stevens with his father, South Australian Police Commissioner Grant Stevens. Picture: Supplied

They also revealed the 18-year-old careless driver who killed their beloved son Charlie has written an apology to the grieving parents.

Charlie’s parents received an apology letter from their son’s killer, Dhirren Randhawa, ahead of his sentencing next month.

Ms Stevens said they appreciate the genuine apology from Randhawa during this tough time.

“And he’s written it, and that it’s words from an 18-year-old,” she told 60 Minutes on Sunday.

“I don’t think he’s been sat down and told what to write.

“I think it’s him. In fact, I’m not so sure Charlie would be able to write something quite as good as that.”

COURT - DHIRREN RANDHAWA
Police commissioner Grant Stevens his wife Emma share they’ve received an apology letter from their son’s killer. Picture: NewsWire / Roy VanDerVegt

In June, Randhawa pleaded guilty to one aggravated count of driving without due care and leaving the scene of a crash after causing death.

“We’re grateful that Dhirren has pleaded guilty,” Mr Stevens said.

“We think that’s, obviously, it gives us some understanding of his acceptance, of his responsibility.

“But I think with what is left to occur in the court process, we’ll just let that unfold.”

COURT - DHIRREN RANDHAWA
Dhirren Randhawa has since pleaded guilty to careless driving causing death. Picture: NewsWire / Roy VanDerVegt

Sophie Tregloan talks about her daughter Annabelle Charlie and her special connection to her brother Charlie Stevens.

Ms Stevens said they feel a sense of “sadness” and compassion for Randhawa because “his life has changed now forever” since the fatal crash that killed her youngest child.

“You know he’s going to have to live with this his whole entire life,” she said.

“I mean I think being a parent, you know being a mum of an 18-year-old, they’re not that smart.

“Like you know they’re 18 and I look at it and I think it also could have been Charlie.”

Charlie died from his injuries in hospital after he was struck by a car while out with friends celebrating Schoolies at Goolwa Beach on November 17.

His death sent shockwaves through the state, with hundreds attending his funeral service at Adelaide Oval.

Charlie Stevens was struck by a car and killed during schoolies celebrations. Picture: Supplied
Charlie Stevens was struck by a car and killed during schoolies celebrations. Picture: Supplied
Charlie Stevens was the youngest of five. Picture: Supplied
Charlie Stevens was the youngest of five. Picture: Supplied

As South Australia’s top cop, Mr Stevens said he never thought his family would be the one to hear the news a loved one had been killed.

“I always thought that delivering a death message was the hardest thing police officers have to do,” he said.

“And as much as you empathise with the families that you give that information to, you have no concept, no appreciation of just how tragic it is, and how it just rips your guts out.

“You never think it’s going to happen to you.”