Family watches in horror as teen plummets to death in skydiving tragedy

Yahoo News Staff
·2-min read

A teen going skydiving for the first time has been killed after her parachute failed to deploy properly.

Jeanna Triplicata, 18, died along with her 35-year-old experienced instructor, Nick Esposito, on Sunday (local time), CNN reported.

The teen, from the US state of Georgia, had gone up in the plane with her grandma, Renee, who jumped first.

Her siblings and parents watched on from below.

Jeanna’s dad Joey Triplicata told NBC the family watched for the teen’s orange parachute, but noticed it “spinning upside down”.

Jeanna Triplicata, 18, pictured with her grandmother, Renee, in parachutes.
Jeanna Triplicata, 18, and her grandmother, Renee, before the skydiving death. Source: NBC

His wife told him: “I hope that’s not Jeanna”, and they drove over to where she landed, but couldn’t get to her as a police officer had already established a scene.

Mr Triplicata told CNN he wanted to speak to his daughter about her skydive after she landed.

"I feel like we were robbed of that and now we're robbed of the rest of her life,” he said.

“It's so painful."

Mr Triplicata told NBC’s Today show Jeanna had gone skydiving to celebrate finishing high school and the teen’s mum, her 15-year-old brother, nine-year-old sister and best friend all watched from the airfield.

"It was so terrible because they all had to experience this along with her mother and me. There was no way to shield them from it," he said.

Jeanna Triplicata, 18, is pictured with a sunflower.
The 18-year-old's family and friends watched as she skydived. Source: NBC

Upson County Sheriff Dan Kilgore told NBC Jeanna’s parachute didn’t open properly and the emergency one opened too late.

Sheriff Kilgore’s explanation was supported by Skydive Atlanta’s statement.

“After an uneventful freefall, a parachute malfunction occurred resulting in the passing away of both instructor and student,” Skydive Atlanta said.

The incident remains under investigation.

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