Teenager And Skydiving Instructor Reportedly Fell To Their Deaths After Both Parachutes Failed

Skydivers are seen during the 2020 Marsh Community Series match between the Collingwood Magpies and the St Kilda Saints at Morwell Reserve on March 08, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

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Jeanna Renee Triplicata, 18, and her skydiving instructor Nick Esposito, 35, reportedly fell to their deaths Sunday after their parachute failed while skydiving in Atlanta.

Jeanna, a recent graduate of Northgate High School, wanted to scratch skydiving off the bucket list she intended to complete before starting college in the fall, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported. She made the bucket list shortly after she turned 18 in May, and had just 3 things on it – she wanted a tattoo to honor her grandfather, a nose ring, and to go skydiving.

She planned to skydive Sunday with her grandmother, and “wasn’t scared a bit,” said her father, Joey Triplicata. “She had wanted to do this, for whatever reason.” (RELATED: 103-Year-Old Guy Becomes Oldest Person To Ever Go Skydiving Out Of An Airplane)

Jeanna’s parents, younger brother, younger sister and a family friend had gathered Sunday to watch her skydive. Jeanna’s grandmother landed within view of the family, but as the family watched, they saw a parachute spinning out of control, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. Jeanna and her instructor landed in an Upson County field.

After Skydive Atlanta employees told the family they would get Jeanna but returned without her, Joey Triplicata decided to drive to the field, he said, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.

“We weren’t thinking the worst at that point,” he added.

Upon arrival, they were greeted by a sheriff’s deputy who said “it doesn’t look good,” according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. Upson Sheriff Dan Kilgore later told the family that both Jeanna and Nick Esposito were killed.

A GoFundMe has been set up in Jeanna’s honor.

“While there is nothing that we can do to bring back this sweet soul nor replace her spirit, we are all speechless and looking for a way to support the Triplicata family,” Laura Williamson, the campaign’s organizer, wrote. “These funds will be used to pay for her final farewell and support for her family during their very long painful grieving process. All funds go directly to Bridgette and Joey Triplicata.”

Kilgore said that Esposito was an experienced skydiver who was doing a tandem jump with Jeanna, where they both were attached to a parachute rig, according to the report. The primary parachute failed and started spinning once the two exited the aircraft, Kilgore said in a statement, and “the emergency parachute did not deploy until extremely low altitude and did not fully open.”

“She was just starting her life. She was going to be a great teacher, I don’t have any doubt about that,” Jeanna’s father said. “Parents can’t take all the credit or all the blame for how their child does in life. But I’m extremely proud to be Jeanna’s father. My children have been my life’s greatest achievement up to this point.”

A videographer took the dive with Jeanna and was not injured, Joey Triplicata said, according to the Journal-Constitution.

“Our community is devastated for both our team member and the student and their respective families,” Skydive Atlanta owner Trey Holladay wrote in a statement, according to the report. Skydive Atlanta said Monday that they are working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and local investigators, the Journal-Constitution reported.

Once the investigation concludes, the family will be able to see a video of Jeanna’s last moments.

“I’m hoping and praying that she was just having the time of her life,” Joey Triplicata told the Journal-Constitution.