A YOUNG Australian has been charged with negligent homicide after a 16-year-old girl died following a collision between two jet-skis in Keehi Lagoon, Honolulu. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I can't believe what I did. I'm so sorry," witnesses reported him as saying.
A forlorn-looking Tyson Dagley, 20, appeared in a Hawaii court on Friday in a blue T-shirt and neck brace from injuries he sustained in the accident last Sunday. He was held in custody on $US100,000 bail and could face up to a year in prison.
Mr Dagley was "heartbroken" but did not remember what had happened, his solicitor, Walter Rodby, said, according to Hawaii News Now. "He wasn't intoxicated. There was no malice. There was no intent. It was simply an accident."
The Australian consulate-general in Honolulu was helping Mr Dagley and his family, a spokeswoman from the Department of Foreign Affairs said. Mr Dagley, of Melbourne, is due back in court on Tuesday.
Kristen Fonseca, 16, who was on holiday from California, died of a brain injury after hitting her head on the steering wheel of her jet-ski. Three witnesses said they saw Mr Dagley speeding and not looking where he was going, a local television station reported.
Glenn Cohen, owner of Aloha Jet Ski Rentals, reportedly told police Mr Dagley was travelling at a speed of 64 to 72 km/h and was watching his girlfriend on the dock when he crashed, according to court documents.
Neither Honolulu police nor Aloha Jet Ski have returned calls from The Sun-Herald.
But Mr Dagley's girlfriend reportedly told police he was travelling at slow-to-medium speed and looking ahead. Deleted videos retrieved from her camera by police reportedly showed Mr Dagley standing up on his jet-ski moments before the crash. A voice was heard yelling "Watch out" just before the crash, the force of which drove Mr Dagley's jet-ski into the air.
Ms Fonseca's stepfather, Mario Canton, was on the dock and saw her slow down moments before the crash. He said he saw Mr Dagley riding "at a very high rate of speed on his jet-ski, looking towards the dock" and shouted at him to look ahead. "He ran into the back of her jet-ski. I noticed that she hit her head against the steering wheel and then she fell into the water," Mr Canton said.
He jumped in the water to rescue his daughter, a scene he said he relived "every minute".
"She was the youngest, she was our baby ... She was an adrenalin junkie. She liked jet-skiing, she liked really wild roller-coasters, anything that would get her going," he said.