Sunrise host Nat Barr has broken down in tears while live on air – forcing producers to cut to an ad break.
Her tearful moment came after an emotional letter was read from South Australia Police Commissioner Grant Stevens, whose son Charlie died after suffering an irreversible brain injury when he was allegedly hit by a car on Schoolies.
The letter had a particular impact on Barr, who has two sons Lachlan, 22, and Hunter, 18. Hunter, having completed high school earlier this year, would have been celebrating Schoolies week at the time the police commissioner’s son died.
Commissioner Stevens signed off the heartfelt letter by saying his son’s death meant so much more than just a number on a tragic tally.
Barr seemed unable to speak as she choked back tears, with her co-host Matthew Shirvington – known by viewers as Shirvo – forced to take over the segment.
‘I’ve got to be honest with you, it’s extremely hard to get through without shedding a tear even though whether you knew Charlie or you didn’t know him,’ Shirvo said.
‘The understanding of losing a teenage child, Nat and I are in that position with teenage kids, it’s extremely difficult.’
Shirvo, who also appeared to be getting emotional, then read a line from the letter.
‘You lived a life and gave so much to so many. You’re a force of nature, we’ll never forget your beautiful, cheeky, disarming smile.’
Her voice breaking, Barr added: ‘Well said Shirvo. We’ll be back in a moment.’
It comes after the Sunrise host revealed she had been getting emotional over her youngest son Hunter impending graduation from high school.
The host said she’ll be ‘crying’ next week during his last assembly.
Speaking to a pregnant Miranda Kerr on Sunrise that morning, Barr told the Australian model to make the most of her four boys’ childhood years.
‘It’s my last child’s last day of school today, so I know it gets busy, but make the most of it,’ she told the beauty who is expecting her fourth child to CEO Evan Spiegel.
‘Because then you’ll be crying like I will be next week when they have their assembly.’
Barr seemed unable to speak as she choked back tears with her co-host Matthew Shirvington, known by viewers as Shirvo, forced to take over the segment (pictured)
Barr (pictured with her eldest son Hunter, 22, and husband Andrew) became emotional after a letter to Charlie Stevens penned by his grieving father was read on the show
Commissioner Stevens said his son’s death was more than a number on a tragic tally
The letter from Commissioner Stevens described how loved Charlie was.
‘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 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,’ Commissioner Stevens said.
‘Son, brother, grandson, uncle, nephew, cousin, friends, workmate, teammate. So much more than just a number on a tragic tally.’
Charlie Stevens, 18, 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.
He appeared via video-link in Christies Beach Magistrates Court on Monday where he was granted bail with strict conditions outlined by the prosecution.
Randhawa must live at his mother’s home, surrender his passport, not enter the driver’s seat of a vehicle and provide a $15,000 guarantee.
His driver’s licence has been disqualified indefinitely.
Commissioner Stevens has penned an emotional letter to his son Charlie who died after suffering an irreversible brain injury when he was allegedly hit by a car
Charlie Stevens (pictured) has been remembered by devastated loved ones as a ‘beautiful boy’
Police will allege Randhawa performed a U-turn, sped up, and was on the wrong side of the road at the time of the crash.
According to court documents, police will allege Randhawa caused death by dangerous driving based on the accounts of three eyewitnesses who were with Mr Stevens on Friday night.
It is believed Mr Stevens – the son of SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens – had been staying at his family’s beach house and was waiting at a nearby bus stop for a shuttle bus to schoolies festivities at the time of the alleged crash.
Police will claim that moments before the tragedy Mr Stevens had ‘flagged down’ Randhawa as he drove past to see if they could get a ride, but there was not enough room for them all.
Daily Mail Australia does not suggest there was any animosity between the groups.
Police will allege that as Randhawa drove away, the three witnesses were standing on the grass verge on the road’s western side while Mr Stevens was near the south-bound traffic lane.
As the group continued walking toward the gravel verge, Randhawa performed a U-turn, started to travel on the incorrect side of the road and struck Mr Stevens, police allege.
Dhirren Randhawa, 18, (pictured leaving Christies Beach Magistrates’ Court in Adelaide on Monday) has been charged over the death of Charlie Stevens. His mum is in pink on the right
Charlie Stevens, 18, was in Goolwa Beach celebrating Schoolies on Friday when he was allegedly struck by a car on Beach Rd at about 9pm
However, a female passenger in Randhawa’s car has given police a second version of events, claiming she saw Mr Stevens ‘run across the road, into the path’ of the vehicle.
She allegedly saw a few males walking on the western side of the road and partially on the footpath, as well as another male on the eastern side of the road.
The passenger alleges the male on the eastern side of the road ran across the road into the path of Randhawa’s car.
The witness, police allege, told officers Randhawa drove a short distance away, where he called his mother to ask whether he should call police or go to a police station in person.
The witness allegedly said police turned up while Randhawa was on the phone and he surrendered himself.
Meanwhile, tributes continue to be left outside the bus stop where the alleged incident unfolded on Friday night – the first night of Schoolies celebrations.
In a family statement, Commissioner Stevens and Mrs Stevens thanked the police, first responders and other emergency services workers who attended the incident.
‘Forever Young Chaz 18’ writing in the sand read in a tribute to Charlie posted to Instagram
‘The Stevens family also wish to thank the wider community for their support during this difficult time in particular the family acknowledge the dedicated staff at the Flinders Medical Centre for their care and support of Charlie and his family and friends,’ the statement released on Sunday said.
SA Premier Peter Malinauskas said his thoughts were with the Stevens family.
‘Grant Stevens has served South Australia as a member of South Australian police for over 40 years,’ Mr Malinauskas said.
‘His whole life he has dedicated himself to protecting others, protecting South Australians from evil, protecting us from disease.
‘He has shown extraordinary leadership in some of the most difficult circumstances this state has ever confronted and it is just so unjust that he and his family have now had to endure this great tragedy themselves.’
Daily Mail Australia understands Commissioner Stevens will take indefinite leave to be with his family as they grieve.
Randhawa is due to face Adelaide Magistrates Court in March.