Coroner: Woman killed after engine blew died of blunt impact trauma of head, neck and torso
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Philadelphia's medical examiner says that a woman killed when she was partially blown out of a Southwest Airlines plane died of blunt impact trauma to her head, neck and torso.
Spokesman James Garrow of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health said Wednesday evening that Jennifer Riordan's death was ruled accidental.
Federal investigators are still trying to figure out how the window came out of the plane. National Transportation Safety Board chairman Robert Sumwalt says that the woman was wearing a seatbelt and sitting next to the window
The New Mexico bank executive who died on a Southwest Airlines flight was remembered Wednesday as a dedicated mother of two who helped others find jobs, volunteered around Albuquerque and brought often fractious sides together.
Jennifer Riordan's family said in a statement that the 43-year-old community leader died Tuesday on a flight heading from New York's LaGuardia Airport to Dallas that made an emergency landing in Philadelphia after its engine blew in midair and shrapnel hit the plane.
A retired registered school nurse said she performed CPR on Riordan, who passengers say was partially sucked out of a damaged window on the jet.
MORE: 1 dead after jet blows an engine; woman nearly sucked out | NTSB probes cause of Flight 1380's 'apparent engine failure'
Riordan's death generated an outpouring of grief and public sympathy from Albuquerque business leaders, state elected officials, writers and activists -- all who portrayed Riordan as gracious and selfless.
"Jennifer's vibrancy, passion, and love infused our community and reached across our country," her family said. "Her impact on everything and everyone she touched can never be fully measured. But foremost, she is the bedrock of our family."
The Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce held a moment of silence Tuesday night during a special reception for new University of New Mexico President Garnett Stokes.
Albuquerque's former poet laureate and slam poetry champion Hakim Bellamy posted on social media that Riordan was a friend to him. "It doesn't seem fair," he said in a tweet.
Rebecca Avitia, the executive director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, said that losing Riordan casts a dark, heavy emptiness on the city.
"I've heard of references in Mesoamerican lore to a female spirit who appeared to people in need like a blazing sun with wings. In Albuquerque, that was Jennifer Riordan," Avitia wrote in online post. "Jennifer, I already miss you."
Riordan was well known in New Mexico, where she built a career over more than two decades in community relations and communications after graduating from the University of New Mexico.
MORE: NTSB probes cause of Flight 1380's 'apparent engine failure'
At the time of her death, Riordan was a vice president for community relations with Wells Fargo. She oversaw the company's corporate giving program in New Mexico and volunteered her time with a number of area nonprofit groups and boards.
Riordan was appointed by the governor to a board focused on boosting volunteerism in New Mexico and in 2015 was presented the Bill Daniels Award for Ethical Young Leadership by the Samaritan Counseling Ethics in Business Awards.
"As a parent, I've said to my kids, `Be kind, loving, caring and sharing, and all good things will come to you'," she told the Albuquerque Journal when she accepted the award.
Riordan also served on the boards of Junior Achievement of New Mexico, New Mexico First and The Catholic Foundation.
Riordan and her husband, Michael Riordan, a former chief operating officer for Albuquerque under former Mayor Richard Berry, had been married for more than 20 years.
"No words can express the depth of our sadness at the passing of Jennifer Riordan," Berry tweeted late Tuesday. "Today our community lost a great leader and a beautiful person."