HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Wearing a neck brace and a blue HI T-shirt, 20-year-old Australian visitor Tyson Dagley stood before a judge, arrested and charged with negligent homicide in the jet ski death of a California teenager.
"He wasn't intoxicated. There was no malice. There was no intent. It was simply an accident," defense attorney Walter Rodby said.
Dagley is accused of running his watercraft into the back of Kristen Fonseca's wave runner Sunday in Keehi Lagoon. The 16-year-old from Vacaville, CA, died of a brain injury. Fonseca's stepfather, Mario Canton, said justice is moving in the right direction.
"We're just trying to make it a point that he needs to answer for what he did," he said. "He was being negligent and he knows that."
Accident accounts say Fonseca had slowed down just before the collision, but Dagley wasn't paying attention to what was in front of him. The criminal complaint cites Glenn Cohen, owner of Aloha Jet Ski Rentals, saying Dagley was going as fast as he could and was looking at his girlfriend who was on the dock taking pictures of him.
"It's also fair for us to say he didn't expect anybody to be stopping in the middle of the course," Rodby said.
The jet ski accident happened in an area Aloha Jet Ski operates in Keehi. Dagley and Fonseca were going clockwise on a course marked by buoys.
Police forensics recovered deleted video from Dagley's girlfriend's camera. The criminal complaint said it shows the collision, and just before it, Dagley standing on his jet ski.
Fonseca's family said anger and distress dominate their thoughts.
"My wife can barely get out of bed every morning since the incident," Canton said. "I'm trying to be her rock but it's very difficult for me as well."
Dagley was also injured in the accident. Rodby said he's "heartbroken" but doesn't remember what happened. His bail is $100,000.
A candlelight service for Fonseca will be held Sunday in Vacaville.