On Monday, April 9, 2018, a small private plane full of six young adults headed to Las Vegas Nevada for a week of celebration. Only 15 minutes after taking off, the plane crashed into TPC Scottsdale Champions Golf Course. All six passengers were killed.
The victims, all under 30 years old, were Mariah Sunshine Coogan, 23, Anand Patel, 26, Helena Lagos, 22, James Pedroza, 28, Erik Valente, 26, and Iris Rodriguez Garcia, 23.
28-year-old, James Pedroza was flying the plane but gave no indication to air traffic control that he was having issues flying the plane. He was reported to have been an inexperienced pilot and had only flown a couple of times. The plane was his newest purchase.
Tragically, only minutes before the plane went down in flames, an air traffic controller reached out to James and asked if he was having an difficulty. James replied with, “Uh, we’re good, we’re just a training lesson,” just moments before the plane went down.
However, the eeriest factor of the crash was that only minutes before it went down, not only had the pilot communicated with air traffic control, but the passengers had sent video from inside the plane to their friends mere minutes before it crashed!
The footage is difficult to watch as the young victims had no idea that they were recording their last seconds alive.
A friend of the victims, Jeremy Gail posted a tribute on Facebook with the videos that his friends had posted only seconds before crashing the plane.
The victims were all fun-loving travel enthusiast. They are remembered by their friends and family as optimistic and kind. One of the youngest victims, Mariah, 23, had hopes of being a model. She had a large following on social media with over 31.7 thousand followers.
Families of the victims are heartbroken and praying for answers. Although, there seem to be none. Authorities are wondering if the plane was even designed to carry six passengers. In the video footage that Mariah shared only moments before the plane crashed, the plane looked very small.
Some also believe illegal substances may have been involved. However, that is still under investigation.
Everyone who knew the victims are completely devastated. They are hoping for answers and praying that they wake up from this nightmare. Please keep the families of the victims in your prayers.