6 people have died, including Instagram model Mariah Coogan, in a plane crash outside Scottsdale, Arizona.
The private plane was a Piper PA-24 Comanche traveling from Scottsdale to Las Vegas. Authorities are investigating the crash and believe the plane may not have been equipped for all 6 passengers.
James Pedroza, 28, was believed to have been piloting the aircraft when it crashed onto a golf course a few minutes after takeoff. Pedroza was in the process of obtaining his pilot’s license and purchased the plane back in February.
The only reason to believe Pedroza may not have been piloting the plane during the crash is this Snapchat photo from passenger Anand Patel, which appears to show him behind the controls as well.
The passengers all appeared to be friends and at least a few of them worked in Las Vegas. Pedroza was a VIP host at Vegas’s Mirage nightclub and Patel was an aspiring entrepreneur and co-founder of his own clothing line, What’s Happy.
Coogan filmed herself on the plane for her Instagram story just before takeoff showing that Pedroza was the one flying the plane.
Mariah Coogan was a model and horse trainer from Santa Rosa, California. Since leaving high school early to pursue modeling, Coogan had signed with several agencies and amassed over 27,000 followers on Instagram. She was also recently named Bella Luna’s Model of the Month. Her mother, Stacey Coogan, told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat: “She’s just a bright light. She’s been such a great child to have. I mean, she’s my first, and her middle name is Sunshine, and she has proven that name because any room she walks into, she smiles and brightens the whole room. I’m going to miss her so much.”
Also on the plane was 22-year-old model Helena Lagos, who was dating Pedroza. James and Helena’s friend Micah said the relationship was serious. "They were pushing six months, it was a big deal. They were just dynamite together. They just loved life."
Two other people died in the crash, whose identities have yet to be confirmed.
Our thoughts go out to all affected by this tragedy.
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