But just hours after addressing the public about the incident, Commissioner Stevens learnt his teenage son, Charlie, had been tragically involved in an alleged hit-run in Goolwa, south-east of Adelaide.
Celebrating Schoolies in nearby Victor Harbor, 18-year-old Charlie was waiting for a bus when he was allegedly struck by a car driven by Dhirren Randhawa, also 18. He was arrested shortly after allegedly fleeing the scene.
Suffering an “irreversible brain injury” Charlie died in hospital on Saturday, November 18.
Commissioner Stevens and his wife Emma penned an emotional tribute to their “lovable ratbag” son, in a two-page letter that brought many to tears.
It referred to Charlie, the youngest of five siblings, as ‘101’ – the 101st life lost in South Australia this year. It also noted their beloved boy was “so much more than just a number on a tragic tally”.
“101 is Charles Hinchliffe Stevens – Chare, Charle Boy, Chas, Links, Steve. You lived life and gave so much to so many,” the heartbroken parents wrote.
“Cheeky, intense and funny – a lovable ratbag from the moment he could talk.
“You were a force of nature and we will never forget your beautiful, cheeky, disarming smile.”
Charlie’s family also used their statement to shine a light on organ donation, saying, “In honour of 101, the family would also like to raise awareness on the importance of organ donation and ask those reading this to talk about organ and tissue donation with your family and friends.”
Speaking to ABC Radio, Deputy Commissioner Linda Williams thanked the Adelaide community, and Australia, for their love and support amid the tragedies.
“We obviously have been heart-warmed by the outpouring of support across the community for both Jason and Charlie.
“We really appreciate the community coming together to support us in what is a truly difficult time.”
If you or someone you know has been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, help is always available. Call Lifeline on 13 11 14