VACAVILLE (CBS13) – A 16-year-old Vacaville girl was killed in a jet ski accident in Hawaii, and now her parents are working so that nothing like that happens again.
Kristen Fonseca would have been a junior this year. She had so many aspirations and now her family is struggling to just cope with the loss.
“I wake up every morning crying. I go to bed crying,” said her mother, Evangelina Canton.
The emotions are still so raw, for her family.
The family was on a trip of a lifetime in Hawaii, when the girl with the infectious smile, her sister and her stepfather decided to rent jet skis.
“That’s pretty much all she could talk about, is getting ready to go jet skiing,” stepdad Mario Canton said.
But during her ride, investigators say 20-year-old Tyson Dagley was standing on his rented jet ski before hitting Kristen’s watercraft from behind.
Her stepfather saw it all unfold.
“I’m thinking, ‘No, he’s not going to hit her, there’s no way he’s going to run into the back of her jet ski,’ and sure enough he runs right into the back of her jet ski,” he said.
He rushed to save her.
“Initially, for the first second I’m shocked,” he recalled. “That did not just happen.”
Then he had to call his wife and tell her that “Kristen was being taken in an ambulance to the hospital.”
Kristen died 16 hours later at the hospital from a brain injury.
Dagley was charged with negligent homicide in her death. He pleaded no contest — something her family has a tough time understanding.
“And if you are going to sit there and say ‘I wish it was me and not her’ then you plead guilty and you take what’s coming to you,” her mother said.
Now the family’s mission is to make sure Kristen’s memory lives by pushing for tougher regulations of motorized watercraft.
“I would love for the laws to change in reference to jet skis and the speed limits and whatever have you,” her mother said. “Those are the things I want, that’s the message I want. I don’t want this to happen to any other family.”
The family has filed a lawsuit against the company that rented Dagley a jet ski. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 5 in Hawaii. He faces fines and up to a year in prison.