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Sunrise's Nat Barr and Shirvo break down on air: 'Extremely hard'

"You lived a life and gave so much to so many."

Sunrise hosts Nat Barr and Matt 'Shirvo' Shirvington became emotional on Tuesday morning while reading the heartbreaking farewell letter from South Australia Police Commissioner Grant Stevens, whose son Charlie died after being hit by a car while at Schoolies.

Nat appeared unable to speak as she was so overcome by emotion during the segment, with Shirvo reading some of the letter aloud.

Sunrise hosts Nat Barr and Matt 'Shirvo' Shirvington
Sunrise hosts Nat Barr and Matt 'Shirvo' Shirvington broke down on the show after reading an emotional letter. Photo: Seven

The story was difficult for the hosts as they both have teenage children, with Nat's youngest son Hunter, 18, also attending Schoolies this year.

"I've got to be honest with you, it's extremely hard to get through without shedding a tear, 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."

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Shirvo's voice cracked as he read the final line of 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."

"Well said Shirvo. We'll be back in a moment," Nat said through her tears.

'So much more than just a number'

Commissioner Stevens' letter referred to his son as 101, as he was the 101st person to lose their life on South Australian roads this year.

"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," the letter began.

South Australia Police Commissioner Grant Stevens with his son Charlie
South Australia Police Commissioner Grant Stevens with his son Charlie, who died after being hit by a car while at Schoolies. Photo: SA Police

Commissioner Stevens shared all his favourite things about his son, joking, "His favourite pastime was pushing mum's buttons. Although a different name is on his birth certificate, 'F**k 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 never wanted for soap, shampoo or shavers- someone else in the house always had it- even a used towel," he added. "His enthusiasm for school saw no bounds except, start time and school work. But his enthusiasm for family and his mates was real."

"101 is Charles Stevens – Charlie, Charlie Boy, Chas, Links, Steve," Commissioner Stevens said. "Son, brother, grandson, uncle, nephew, cousin, friend, workmate, teammate. So much more than just a number on a tragic tally."

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