Husband of woman who died in tragic plane incident speaks for first time since her death.

Michael Riordan was at home when he got a phone call no one ever hopes to receive.

“We need to speak with Mike Riordan who is married to Jennifer. Are you married to Jennifer Riordan?” the voice on the other end of the line asked the 45-year-old who was preparing to meet his wife at their son’s baseball game that night.

That voice belonged to a chaplain at the Philedelphia hospital where his wife Jennifer Riordan’s body had been taken after she passed away in the first fatal U.S. airline accident in nearly 10 years.

Last week, 43-year-old Jennifer was returning home from a work trip on Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 from New York to Dallas when she was partially sucked out of the plane’s window.

Jennifer and her husband. Image: Facebook

The plane's engine failed at around 9100 metres (30,000 feet) in the air - the explosion sent shrapnel flying through the air, smashing through the window by the seat the bank executive was sitting in.


In one terrifying moment, the pressure sucked the Wells Fargo employee headfirst out of the window.

Despite the fact she was wearing a seat belt and fellow passengers' efforts to pull her torso back inside the aircraft, the mother-of-two was not able to be saved.

Speaking for the first time since his wife's death just over a week ago, Michael has shared the moment he found out his wife wouldn't be coming home.

"Before the doctor [from the Philadelphia hospital] could call, I was able to click on a news site and see if something was going on. I saw one passenger brought to the hospital, like, 'OK, but the whole plane didn't crash," Michael said in an ABC News interview from his home state of New Mexico.

"I was like, 'She can't be injured that bad she's just in a hospital, but I can get out there and I can hold her hand and love on her'."

Michael Riordan speaks for the first time since his wife passed away. Post continues after video.

Video via ABC

Two minutes after reading the article, the doctor called to say they tried everything they could, but "she didn't make it".

His next thought was of their two young children.

"I immediately thought of the kids and how do you tell your kids their mum was gone," he said.

Instead of going to the baseball game like they'd planned, Michael drove to his children's school to break the news to his son and daughter.

"I just held their little hands and took a knee and said, 'Mommy's not going to come home guys'."

Hundreds of people attended Jennifer's funeral on Sunday at the campus of the University of New Mexico.

Michael said it's the first time he's felt any peace since his wife, who he met at a shopping mall when they were teenagers 29 years ago, was taken from her their family far too soon.

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