(HONOLULU) — The parents of a California teenager who died on vacation in Hawaii when her jet ski was struck by another being operated by an Australian tourist are suing that tourist.
Kristen Fonseca, 16, was jet skiing on Aug. 5 at Keehi Lagoon in Honolulu when her watercraft was hit. The rider of the jet ski that hit Fonseca was Tyler Dagley of Australia.
The girl died the following day of her injuries, and Dagley, 20, was charged with third-degree criminal homicide — a misdemeanor.
“He was just speeding really fast and then just came up and just slammed right into her,” Fonseca’s sister Monique Sanchez told ABC News.
Sanchez, along with Fonseca’s mother and stepfather Mario Canton, were present when the accident happened.
“I then saw her head lunge forward, and hit the steering wheel, Kristen then, fell forward, fell back and then fell into the water,” Canton said.
Investigators have said Dagley was driving recklessly, was standing up and not paying attention to where he was going, and that he was showing off for his girlfriend.
That girlfriend, Natasha Ryan, 21, has also been charged by police, but she is not named in the lawsuit. Authorities say she videotaped the entire incident and then deleted it in an attempt to cover it up.
In a court appearance, Dagley sobbed.
“I prayed every day to the family, and prayed that everything was going to be okay,” he said.
The Cantons’ lawsuit alleges that Dagley was reckless and negligent when he was operating the jet ski. The suit also names Aloha Jet Ski Rentals, the company that rented the watercraft to Fonseca and Dagley, as a co-defendant.
The court papers allege that an Aloha Jet Ski Rentals employee failed to properly instruct Dagley in the correct use of the jet ski, and that the employee did nothing to prevent Dagley’s reckless behavior.
The lawsuit mentions that the family suffered emotional pain and suffering, and had incurred significant medical costs for Fonseca’s care. The suit seeks unspecified damages and attorney’s fees.
Dagley is due back in court on Aug. 23.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jason Hanna, CNN
Parija Kavilanz, CNN
Seth Olson, Deseret News