Officials: Student pilot had cocaine, ecstasy in system at time of fatal Arizona crash

Posted at 8:24 AM, Apr 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-09 11:25:04-04

(KNXV) -- A student pilot had drugs in his system at the time of a plane crash that killed him and five others, including a model from San Diego, according to the Arizona Medical Examiner's office.

The crash happened at the TPC Scottsdale golf course in April 2018.

Scottsdale police believe the aircraft, a Piper PA24, originated from Scottsdale Airport and crashed shortly after takeoff. The NTSB says the plane was headed to Las Vegas and went down less than a mile away from the Scottsdale Airport.

According to the medical examiner's office, the pilot tested negative for drugs. The student pilot, however, tested positive for cocaine and ecstasy.

The report also said the plane's weight limit was 3,200 pounds, but estimated weight at takeoff was more than 3,300 pounds.

Police said there were six people aboard the plane, and no one survived.

Mariah Sunshine Coogan, a 23-year-old San Diego-based model, was among those killed in the crashed.

The other victims were identified as 26-year-old Erik Valente, 28-year-old James Louis Pedroza, 28-year-old Anand Anil Patel, 22-year-old Helena Lagos, and 23-year-old Iris Carolina Rodriguez Garcia.