Retired nurse describes horror of battling to save passenger who was sucked out of plane window

Edduin Carvajal
Apr 20, 2018
07:02 A.M.
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Peggy Phillips, a retired school nurse, described all she witnessed while she was on the Southwest Flight 1380 on April 17, 2018.


As Mirror reported, the left engine of the plane failed while it was at around 32,000 feet. The malfunction shattered one of its windows, partially pulling out a passenger named Jennifer Riordan.

Phillips revealed that she was a couple of rows away from the incident, and even though it happened ‘so fast,’ she managed to see that two men pulled Riordan back inside the plane.

Once there, Phillips and an Emergency Medical Technician started CPR but, after 20 minutes, they realized there was nothing left to do as Riordan was dead.


Phillips explained that the victim suffered a significant trauma as she went through the airplane window at about 600mph, hitting her face and body with the fuselage or the wing.


The plane was flying with 144 passengers and 5 crew members from New York’s La Guardia Airport to Dallas. After the incident, they went to Philadelphia International Airport to take care of the situation.


When the engine failed, the plane pilot, Tammie Jo Shults, contacted the Air Traffic Control to report it and pointed out that there were ‘injured passengers’ on board.

Apart from Riordan, who left behind two children and a husband, other seven passengers suffered minor injuries that were treated in Philadelphia. At the moment, police and other agencies are investigating what could have caused the accident.


Phillips confessed that she was grateful for the actions that the pilot, crew, and the rest of the passengers took during the flight as they saved many lives.

‘There are a lot of really thoughtful and heroic things that went on during the flight. I can honestly say I was very proud of everyone that was involved in this.’

Peggy Phillips, Mirror, April 18, 2018.