Dhirren Randhawa, 18, an apprentice barber from Encounter Bay, has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving and leaving the scene of a crash after causing death. He is accused of fatally striking 18-year-old Charlie Stevens, the son of South Australia's Police Commissioner Grant Stevens, with his car on Beach Road in Goolwa Beach, about 84km south of Adelaide.
Charlie and his friends were celebrating schoolies week in the area when the incident occurred around 9pm on Friday. He was immediately flown to Flinders Medical Centre but tragically succumbed to his injuries the following evening, having sustained an 'irreversible brain injury.'
Randhawa was apprehended shortly after the incident on Port Elliot Rd, a short distance away from the scene. He was initially charged with causing harm by dangerous driving, aggravated driving without due care, leaving the scene of a serious crash, and failing to truly answer questions. However, two of the charges have been upgraded to causing death by dangerous driving and leaving the scene of a crash after causing death.
This devastating incident marks the second loss for the Stevens family within months, following the death of Charlie's maternal aunt, Belinda Price, 48, from pancreatic cancer. Tributes have poured in for Charlie, who had just started working as an apprentice carpenter after graduating from school last year.
The schoolies festival had just begun when the accident occurred, and witnesses report hearing cries for help from Charlie's distraught friends as they desperately tried to save him. Floral tributes have started to accumulate at the site of the tragedy as mourners pay their respects to the youngest of five children.
The grieving Commissioner Stevens will be taking indefinite leave from his duties to be with his family during this difficult time. In a statement, Commissioner Stevens and Mrs. Stevens expressed their gratitude for the support of the wider community and thanked the medical staff at Flinders Medical Centre for their care.
Dhirren Randhawa is scheduled to appear in court on Monday. The case has prompted a nationwide discussion about road safety and the devastating consequences of dangerous driving.