Sadly, there were no survivors.
James Pedroza was a student pilot and considered himself to be an “avid traveler” who “recently became interested in flying.” Perhaps that is what led him and five others to climb aboard a small Piper PA-24 Comanche in April. Unfortunately, Pedroza won’t be given the opportunity to explore his newly developed interests in aviation as the plane he and another male were flying that was headed to Las Vegas crashed moments after departing out of a Scottsdale airport on April 9th.
According to AZ Central, the plane was being flown by Pedroza and another male, Erik Valente, who was a certified airplane transport pilot who also worked part-time as an instructor for All in Aviation. But when the plane took off from the runway, its wings were rocking both during the takeoff and even after. And as the plane “went into a left-banking turn, the angle increased and pthe lane started to lose altitude.” Footage from the Scottdale Police Department shows footage of the plane going down into a golf course and seconds later, a large fiery explosion.
Among those that died were both Valente and Pedroza, Mariah Coogan, Anand Kamlesh Patel, Helena Lagos, and Iris Carolina Rodriguez Garcia. The source highlighted that Coogan was the only one that died of blunt force trauma. The others suffered burn injuries. Investigators reported that it was unclear as to who was in control of the plane at the time of the crash, but the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office discovered that Pedroza had cocaine in his system. Officials aren’t clear as to “what extent the cocaine found in Pedroza’s system could have contributed to the crash.”
A final accident report isn’t expected to be completed for this plane crash until next year.
Other details from the investigation also revealed that the six-seat plane appeared to be overloaded with passengers and luggage. The source stated that it won’t be until next year when a final report will be released highlighting the details regarding this tragic incident.

Another Small Plane Crashes in Arizona

AZ Central reported on yet another plane crash that transpired in Phoenix, AZ just a few days ago. The plane crashed in a desert area located just off of I-17 and Carefree Highway after experiencing engine failure while on its way to Deer Valley Airport. The plane was approximately 10 miles away from its destination before it went down and landed upside down. Thankfully, the three occupants who had been aboard the aircraft survived. All three were said to have been in stable condition, although one reportedly had to be flown to a hospital for medical treatment.
With so many people out traveling for the summer, it is important to remember that accidents can happen anywhere and at any given moment, and they do. So remember, be careful and choose your mode of transportation wisely before booking a trip or relying on someone else to do so. You want to be sure that whoever is going to be responsible for transporting you to your vacation destination is qualified to make the trip and that they are working for a reputable company.
If you have been involved in an accident recently in Arizona and feel there are multiple parties are at fault for causing the incident, contact today. We will connect you with an accident lawyer in Phoenix, AZ who can assess the details of your matter and devise a plan on how they will hold each party accountable for their recklessness.

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