‘Treat people with kindness’ | New billboard honors memory of Georgia teen killed in skydiving accident

The billboard features a photo of Jeanna Triplicata and the words, “Treat People with Kindness.”

NEWNAN, Ga. — (Editor’s note: The video above this article is from the original reporting on Jeanna Triplicata’s death in 2020.)

A new billboard is honoring the memory of a Newnan teen who died just after her 18th birthday four years ago in a tragic skydiving accident. 

The billboard features a photo of Jeanna Triplicata and the words, “Treat People with Kindness.”

“She was positive and smiling, and that’s who she was,” her father Joey Triplicata told 11Alive in 2020 after the tragedy. “She was just, I mean, a sweet, innocent, gentle, modest, beautiful young woman.”

RELATED: Newnan teen on her first parachute jump killed along with veteran skydiver

Triplicata was on a tandem jump with an instructor near Thomaston in July 2020 when, according to investigators, both chutes failed to open properly.

Her whole family was at the airfield to watch, and her father at the time described to 11Alive the heartbreaking scene that unfolded.

“We saw an orange-ish type of chute kind of far away, off in the distance, that was actually spinning, upside down,” Joey Triplicata said in 2020. “And my wife actually turned to me and said, ‘I hope that’s not Jeanna.’”

They jumped into their van and sped across the airfield toward the area where they thought Jeanna would have just landed.

A sheriff’s deputy was already there, and kept them away.

“We get out of the van and he (the sheriff’s deputy) tells us, he said, ‘You know, it doesn’t look good.’”

Jeanna was killed, along with the Skydive Atlanta professional skydiver who jumped with her, Nick Esposito, 35, of Warner Robins.

Joey Triplicata at the time described it as a “freak accident” with Skydive Atlanta characterizing the incident as a “parachute malfunction.”

Jeanna Triplicata had just graduated from Northgate High School in Newnan. She loved the north Georgia mountains and was looking forward to attending the University of North Georgia. Her goal was to become an English teacher.

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