A family of a teenage girl killed in a jet skiing accident has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver of the Jet Ski who crashed into the teen.
The 20-year-old Australian tourist charged in the accident will be released from jail after serving three weeks for the death.
A normal Jet Ski ride while vacationing in Hawaii, turned anything but normal for Kristen Fonseca, 16. As Fonseca cruised the water on her rented Jet Ski, Tyler Dagley, 20, posed for pictures while standing on his watercraft. Like Fonseca, Dagley, an Australian tourist, rented a Jet Ski while vacationing with his girlfriend in Oahu, Hawaii.
According to Daily Mail, as he posed for pictures, Dagley’s Jet Ski cruised the water going upwards of 40 miles per hour, or four times the speed that Fonseca’s Jet Ski was traveling. Dagley struck Foneseca’s Jet Ski from behind causing her head to ricochet off the steering column and eventually tossing her into the water.
Fonseca died the next day from the injuries she received from the August 5 accident. Dagley suffered spinal injuries and a concussion during the crash.
Following the accident, Dagley faced a misdemeanor third degree negligent homicide charge. He pleaded no contest to the charges and received a sentence of time served. Dagley’s girlfriend, Natasha Ryan, 21, is also facing charges of hindering the prosecution after telling investigators her boyfriend was sitting on the watercraft and paying attention at the time of the accident.
Police recovered deleted video footage of the accident proving Ryan’s claims to be false. Ryan, currently out on $500 bail, is due back in court September 6.
The Fonseca family feels Dagley got off too easy. They hoped prosecutors would press felony charges against Dagley.
“I mean I’m not trying to make this guy suffer, but I need for him to understand that there’s a consequence to every decision we make,” states Kristen Fonseca’s mother, Evagelina Fonseca.
“I cry in the morning, I cry before I go to bed, I cry randomly during the day looking for justice,” the teenager’s mother states.
Mrs. Fonseca said in poem to the court written by Kristen that Kristen wondered if she would ever have children and mentioned how she dreamed of being a doctor when she grew up.
The Fonseca family feels Dagley acted in a negligent manner by standing up on the Jet Ski and failing to pay attention to where he was going. “As far as I’m concerned that is not enough, that individual was operating the Jet Ski in a totally unsafe negligent manner,” states Kristen Fonseca’s stepfather, Mario Cantone.
The family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Dagley claiming they “have suffered horrible emotional pain, suffering and distress” resulting from witnessing the accident. The family also filed another wrongful death lawsuit against Aloha Jet Ski, the Jet Ski Company who rented Jet Ski’s to both Fonseca and Dagley. The Fonseca family feels the company “failed to give any instructions or warnings about driving at excessive speeds” prior to handing the keys over to the Jet Ski. The wrongful death lawsuit claims the employees did nothing to prevent Dagley from driving recklessly.
In the wrongful death lawsuit, the family is seeking an unspecified amount of damages, including medical and funeral expenses.
South Carolina Wrongful Death Lawyers
Losing a loved one is hard, and what makes it even harder is knowing their death was preventable. Many times surviving loved ones are left with the feeling that someone should legally pay for their family member’s death. The South Carolina wrongful death lawyers at the Strom Law Firm understand losing a loved one is an emotionally and financially trying time. Our wrongful death lawyers will fight to get you and your family the compensation you deserve for your emotional pain and suffering. Contact us today or fill out a web form to see how we can be of service to you. 803.252.4800.