SA woman mourns friend killed in Southwest Airlines flight

'Your heart shatters in a million pieces for her family'


SAN ANTONIO – A bank executive and mother of two described as "touching the lives of so many people" has been identified as the woman who died on a Southwest Airlines jet Tuesday that blew an engine 32,000 feet in the air.

Jennifer Riordan was from Albuquerque, New Mexico, but her loss is being felt in San Antonio.

"It was shocking," said San Antonio resident Luisa Casso. "Your heart shatters in a million pieces for her family and for everyone in the community that has been touched by her."

Casso said she and Riordan worked together in Albuquerque and that she was devastated when she found out what happened to her friend.

"I think it is a tragic accident," Casso said. "But, I really chose to focus on Jennifer and her spirit and the incredible difference she made in the lives of everybody fortunate enough to know her."

Passengers on the flight desperately tried to save Riordan from getting sucked out of a smashed window that had been hit by shrapnel following engine failure.  

Riordan died at a Philadelphia hospital after the plane made an emergency landing. She was on her way back home to Albuquerque.

She leaves behind a husband and two young children.

"You could see no matter what she was doing, it was always incredible compassion for people, for friends, for family," Casso said. "It was always a priority of hers to reach out to people in a way that is really indescribable."

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