Jennifer Riordan has died following an incident on a Southwest flight. Riordan, a mother of two, was onboard Flight 1380 when the plane’s engine exploded, causing a window on the aircraft to blow out.
Riordan had been sitting next to a window at the time of the explosion, and was partially sucked out of the plane, according to NBC Philadelphia. Passengers on the plane worked together to pull the 43-year-old woman back into the plane, but she later died from her injuries.
The plane was traveling from New York City to Dallas, Texas. Riordan was in New York City on a business trip, and was heading home to her family in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Riordan Family Has Released a Statement
Riordan’s family has released a statement about her passing. You can read that statement below.
“Jennifer Riordan has passed away as a result of previously reported events on Southwest Airlines Flight 1380. Jennifer’s vibrancy, passion, and love infused our community and reached across our country. Her impact on everything and everyone she touched can never be fully measured. But foremost, she is the bedrock of our family. She and Mike wrote a love story unlike any other. Her beauty and love is evident through her children. We are so appreciative of the outpouring of support from family, friends, and our community. We do ask that those who seek to express their condolences and prayers, as well as media outlets, respect our privacy at this time. Our family and friends need this time to both grieve and celebrate Jennifer’s impact on us all. In her memory — please remember to always be kind, loving, caring, and sharing.”
2. Her Husband, Michael Riordan, Worked as the Chief Operations Officer for City of Albuquerque
Jennifer Riordan married her husband, Michael, on June 15, 1996, according to his Facebook page.
In 1999, he graduated from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. In 2003, he became the Director of Public Works for the City of Albuquerque, a position he held for more than a decade. In 2014, he transitioned to the city’s Chief Operations Officer, according to his LinkedIn page.
Although his Facebook page still lists that as his current job, he left the position at the end of 2017, and was replaced by Lawrence Rael. It’s unknown what he currently does for work, but his LinkedIn lists him as a government administration professional.
“Michael is a good public speaker. He is knowledgeable and concise in his presentations. As Vice Chair for the Greater Albuquerque Recreational Trails Committee, I have worked with Michael on issues of access and safety of trails. He is responsive and progressive. I found that he is often proactive, anticipating issues and responding appropriately,” reads a LinkedIn recommendation left by a colleague of Michael’s.
3. She Was a Mother of 2 Young Children, Averie & Joshua
Riordan was an employee of Wells Fargo. A company bio states that she and her husband are parents to two children, daughter, Averie, 12, and son, Joshua, 10. According to the Albuquerque Journal, both Averie and Joshua attended Annunciation Catholic School.
“She was in route from New York when her plane experience (sic) trouble. At this point, the family needs all the prayers we can offer,” the school’s assistant principal, Amy McCarty, wrote in a statement.
“Jennifer has over 25 years of community relations and communications experience and joined Wells Fargo in 2008. She is responsible for reputation management, volunteerism and community involvement and supporting local and regional non-profits though the company’s generous corporate giving program of over $2.3 million (NM, El Paso and Greater TX),” the bio also reads.
4. She Often Posted About Her Family on Social Media
A quick scroll through her social media and you will see that Jennifer was very fond of sharing photos of her family. Whether she was posting pictures with her husband, with her children, or with her mom, Jennifer’s strong family bond was evident on Facebook.
“Thankful for this amazing man on this birthday week. Michael Riordan, you make my heart happy, you are my everything, you make me a better person! Thanks for being you! Happy birthday week! I love you,” Jennifer captioned a picture of her husband on Facebook back in 2016.
Friends of Jennifer had nothing but wonderful things to say about her and her husband over the years. Many would often comment on her Facebook posts, always saying lovely things about her and Michael.
“Beautiful people inside and out,” one friend of Jennifer wrote as a comment on one of her pictures.
“Absolutely beautiful couple in every way,” wrote another.
“What a handsome and gracious couple,” added a third.
5. She Lost Her Grandfather in 2015 & Was Very Close to Her Mother
Jennifer’s tragic passing marks the most recent death to befall the Riordan family. In October 2015, Jennifer lost her grandfather. She posted a picture of her hand holding his, presumably before his passing. The picture received several comments, with many of Jennifer’s friends offering their condolences in her time of loss.
“I’m so sorry for the loss of your Grandpa Jennifer. How wonderful for you both that you were able to spend time with him early last month. I know it must have meant the world to him as I know it did for you. What a gift. Lasting and happy memories,” read one comment.
“What a blessing to have the beautiful memories you have with your Grandpa. I’m so sorry for your loss,” read another.
Jennifer shared several of pictures with her mom, with whom she had a close relationship, on social media.
“Happy Mother’s Day. So blessed to have this amazing lady as my momma,” Jennifer captioned the above photo, posted on May 13, 2017, on Facebook.