Our hearts and prayers go out to the family of Jennifer Riordan this morning. pic.twitter.com/tyjHHSdRnR— KOAT.com (@koat7news) April 18, 2018
The identity of the passenger who lost her life on the Southwest 1380 flight that suffered a blown engine has been revealed.
Jennifer Riordan, 43, was a beloved wife, mother, and community leader from Albuquerque, New Mexico. When the aircraft’s engine blew on Tuesday, scattered shrapnel crashed through a window and struck her. She was taken to a hospital but ultimately died from her injuries.
In addition to being a family woman, Riordan was the vice president of community relations at Wells Fargo in Albuquerque. She also served for two years as a board member for the New Mexico Broadcasters Association.
Her family was well-known in Albuquerque as Michael Riordan, her husband, was once the chief operating officer for the city.
Several local organizations, businesses, media outlets, and city officials tweeted their condolences to the family upon learning of Riordan’s devastating and untimely death.
No words can express the depth of our sadness at the passing of Jennifer Riordan. Maria and I send our deepest condolences to the Riordan family. Today our community lost a great leader and a beautiful person.— Richard Berry (@citizen_berry) April 18, 2018
We’re heartbroken over the loss of Jennifer Riordan. She set a shining example for how to provide community support & she strengthened NM. We’re grateful for her leadership throughout her career. Thoughts to her family, friends, & colleagues at Wells Fargo. She will be missed.— Dion's (@DionsPizza) April 18, 2018
We are stunned, shocked and horribly saddened. We lost one of our family today. Jennifer Riordan was one of the best people to ever walk this planet. Deepest condolences and strength to Mike, Averie and Josh. We are all better because we knew her. We love you Jennifer.— GildanNewMexicoBowl (@GildanNMbowl) April 17, 2018
Statement from Dr. Roth part 1: "We were notified that Jennifer Riordan was tragically killed today as a result of the emergency situation on @SouthwestAir. Jennifer had previously been a member of @UNM Health Sciences Center family, working in marketing."— UNM HSC (@UNMHSC) April 17, 2018
Part 3: "We are committed to carrying on her work to ensure quality education and career opportunities to New Mexico’s youth. Our thoughts and prayers remain with her family during this difficult time. She will be forever missed by her Lobo family."— UNM HSC (@UNMHSC) April 17, 2018
Additionally, photos of her bright and infectious smile were shared across social media as people wrote heartfelt messages reminiscing on how she impacted their lives.
Jennifer Riordan was the embodiment of everything that is good. An awesome friend, mother, wife, sponsor, philanthropist, community member, and human being. We all lost such a special person today. Our hearts sincerely go out to Michael, Josh and Averie. pic.twitter.com/WGtQoWdjAp— Albuquerque Isotopes (@ABQTopes) April 18, 2018
In all my years of reporting on tragedy in #NewMexico, the death of Jennifer Riordan seems to be one of the most far-reaching. From community leaders to law enforcement... Jennifer was clearly beloved by so many. Take a look: #SouthwestFlight1380 pic.twitter.com/vWFq1PoEkz— Royale Da - KOAT (@RoyaleKOAT) April 18, 2018
"Jennifer's vibrancy, passion and love infused our community and reached across our country. Her impact on everything and everyone she touched can never fully be measured." - The Riordan family pic.twitter.com/lbRMMi54EZ— KOAT.com (@koat7news) April 18, 2018
New Mexico is greatly saddened by Jennifer Riordan's tragic death. She was a dear friend & I was honored to work with her on financial literacy issues for over a decade. Jennifer was exceptionally active in working to improve our community and I express our sincerest condolences.— Hector Balderas (@HectorBalderas) April 18, 2018
The family’s official statement reads:
"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."
Although the plane was able to make a successful emergency landing in Philadelphia following the unexpected accident, an entire community and a grieving family are grappling with the devastation of losing Riordan, who was the only fatality. If there's any consolation to come from this, it's the fact that Riordan will be remembered fondly by those who crossed paths with her.
Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Reuters