EAST COBB — An east Cobb couple’s date night Friday ended tragically in a car crash that orphaned their three young children.
Ryan Lombardo, 40, and his wife, Jessica, 35, were both dead at the scene of the Paper Mill Road crash, which happened about 12:30 a.m. Saturday.
Funeral services are set for 2 p.m. Saturday, and West Cobb Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.
Ryan Lombardo and his brother, Brandon, founded a tree-removal company and also ran the disaster operations division of Lombardo Management General Contractors, or LMGC.
“Ryan was the animated, out front, get-it-done sales person and Brandon is behind-the-scenes computer guy,” said friend George Greenley. “What a great testimony to two brothers able to work together. They’ve built a tremendous thing here.”
Greenley said the brothers most recently had assisted in the cleanup of tropical storm Sandy.
“Wherever there’s a disaster, they go,” he said.
Ryan and Jessica Lombardo grew up near Houston, Texas, and were married in May 1997. They had a son, 15, and two daughters, ages 5 and 6.
They moved to their home in Marietta in 2005.
A statement released by the family said that Jessica was a gate agent with Continental Airlines for 15 years. At the time of their marriage, Ryan and Brandon were starting a company that is now known as TreeJob.
Ryan was an avid fisherman and deer hunter, and Jessica enjoyed gardening.
“The family of Ryan and Jessica have really appreciated all the love and support from the local congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and the community, including: the Lombardo’s neighbors, United Airlines, TreeJob, Cobb County School District faculty and staff,” the statement said.
Cobb Police say the couple were westbound on Paper Mill Road, just past the Sope Creek area of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, when the crash happened early Saturday morning.
Ryan was driving his 2012 Ford F-150 pickup truck faster than the posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour, and struck a tree as he went around a curve, according to police.
“The vehicle sideswiped the tree, causing the vehicle to begin a clockwise rotation,” according to release from Cobb Police. “The rotation caused the vehicle to trip as it then collided with another tree on the driver’s side. As the vehicle continued through the tree, it came to a final rest on the roof against a third tree.”
The crash happened less than three miles from their home in the Millridge subdivision off Terrell Mill Road.
Compounding the tragedy, Ryan and Jessica Lombardo did not have life insurance, Greenley said. The family has set up an account at Bank of North Georgia to benefit the children. Donations may be sent to any Bank of North Georgia branch and directed to “The children of Ryan and Jessica Lombardo” fund.
On Monday afternoon, family and friends milled outside the couple’s home in the Millridge subdivision. Staff members of Brumby Elementary also came to pay their respects.
Dr. Amanda Richie, principal of Brumby, said in a statement that the couple were part of the school community for nine years.
“The Brumby faculty and staff is heartbroken over their loss and we extend our deepest condolences and support to the Lombardo family during this difficult time,” she wrote. “The Brumby Foundation is now accepting donations to benefit the Lombardo family at brumbyfoundation.com.”