The stepfather of a teenage girl who died as a result of a collision between two watercraft in Keehi Lagoon on Sunday believes the industry needs tougher government oversight.
Mario Canton, 43, of Vacaville, California spoke to reporters Thursday, detailing the incident that claimed the life of 16-year-old Kristen Fonseca.
Canton says the 20-year-old operator of a watercraft rented from Aloha Jet Ski Tours collided into the back of Fonseca's Waverunner at a high rate of speed. Canton believes the man from Australia was traveling up to 40 miles per hour, and operating the vehicle in a reckless manner.
"He wasn't looking forward, he was looking in a different direction, said Canton. "At no time did he look forward, and then he ran right into the back of Kristen's watercraft. My personal feeling is he should be held accountable."
The man operating the watercraft that struck Fonseca was taken to the hospital in serious condition. His identity has not been released.
Police continue to investigate the collision as an unattended death. However, a spokesman at the Honolulu Prosecutor's Office said the man involved in the collision could be charged with negligent homicide in the second or third degree, if it's found he operated the watercraft in a reckless manner.
According to Hawaii state law, a person is guilty of negligent homicide if he or she "causes the death of another person by the operation of a vehicle in a negligent manner."
Canton also believes companies that rent watercraft should be placed under stricter regulations. Aloha Jet Ski Tours operates in a designated area within Keehi Lagoon that encompasses a 200-foot radius. There is also no limit on how fast riders can go.
"This area is so confined that accidents like this are bound to happen," said Canton. "When we got out there, we were never told what the top speed was, (or) if there is a top speed."
On Tuesday Ed Underwood, the administrator of the state Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation said he could not recall the last time someone was killed while operating a rented watercraft.