Australian visitor case making headlines down under

VIDEO: Australian tourist makes emotional plea in court

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Australian visitor Tyson Dagley's arrest in the Jet Ski accident that killed California teenager Kristen Fonseca is headline news in Australian newspapers, on TV and in on-line publications.

Journalist Mike Amor is USA Bureau Chief for Seven Network Australia. He was sent to Oahu to cover the case.

"Does he deserve to be waiting in jail until he has his opportunity in court? I think most Australians would be concerned by that," he said.

Amor said Australians question if the $100,000 bail in the third-degree negligent homicide case is fair. The judge refuses to reduce it. The prosecutor maintains Dagley is a flight risk. His father and mother are devastated.

"We feel for the girl's parents, but we just got to stay strong for him," Alan Dagley said.

"They're really torn emotionally," Amor said. "They really had struggled with the fact that they weren't able to see Tyson for such a long time."

The Hawaii Tourism Authority forecasts Australian visitors to top 200,000 this year. Australian tourism experts said so far the Dagley case hasn't had a negative impact.

"If it was more of a natural disaster or something like that it might. But these accidents do happen, so I don't know if it would actually deter somebody from still taking their holiday," said Maite Conway, regional director for the South Australian Tourism Commission.

Fonseca's family is suing Dagley. He's asking for a jury trial in the criminal case. Amor said it will be news in Australia for months to come.

"It seems obvious that Tyson has made a dreadful mistake," he said. "It's resulted in the tragic death of a 16-year-old girl."

Dagley's next court appearance is August 23.

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