Model posts video before plane crash
An Instagram model who was friendly with Kendall Jenner was among the six people who died when a small plane crashed at an Arizona golf course, according to reports.
Mariah Sunshine Coogan, 23, shared videos of herself with her 27,000 Instagram followers with the hashtag #VegasLetsGo, posing for the camera and turning it to show pal Anand "Happy" Patel, 26, as they sat aboard a Piper PA-24 Comanche, which plunged into a Scottsdale golf course Monday evening shortly after taking off.
The aircraft was owned by 28-year-old James Pedroza, a VIP host at The Mirage nightclub in Las Vegas who jetsetted around the world, the New York Post reported.
He'd boasted about the purchase on Instagram on Feb. 7 and investigators are looking into whether he was piloting - though he did not have a license, according to FAA records, the outlet reported.
Investigators also are probing whether the plane was equipped to carry so many people.
Also killed was Pedroza's girlfriend, Helena Lagos, 22.
"They were pushing six months, it was a big deal," Micah Griggs, a friend of the couple, told Fox 5 Vegas. "They were dynamite together. They just loved life."
How the pair knew Coogan and Patel remains unclear - but the group seemed to share an interest in partying, according to their social media accounts.
Coogan had been in Phoenix for the Phoenix Light Festival, according to a post on her Instagram Saturday.
Her account is full of images of her frolicking at the beach in skimpy swimsuits, riding horses and partying with pals, including one picture with Kendall Jenner, posted by the Daily Mail.
"She's such a bright light," her mom, Stacey Coogan, told the Press Democrat. "It's going to be very hard not having her in our life."
Patel's twin brother, Akash Patel, described him as "an entrepreneur with lots of energy and lots of charisma" to the Standard Republic. The brothers came to the US from India for college in 2009.
He said his brother lived a "celebrity life" as an "Instagram star" and died doing what he loved: "spending time with his friends and flying."
Pictures on his social media show him posing with private planes, baby tigers and at concerts in Las Vegas and Oklahoma City, where he lived.
The other two victims have yet to be identified.
This article was originally seen in the New York Post and has been republished here with permission.