Famous model confirmed dead among those killed in Arizona plane crash

Junie Sihlangu
Apr 12, 2018
06:30 A.M.
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Mariah Sunshine Coogan is a famous Instagram model who died in a plane crash earlier this week. She died after the plane she was traveling in burst into flames and crashed.


Coogan had a bright future ahead of her and was on her way to Las Vegas when the incident occurred. The plane crashed on April 9, 2018, according to Fox News.

On Wednesday, April 11, 2018, authorities released the 6 identities of those who were killed in the plane crash. Coogan, 23, along with Erik Valente, 26, James Louis Pedroza, 28, Anand Anil Patel, 28, Helena Lagos, 22, and Iris Carolina Rodriguez Garcia, 23, all died in the fiery crash.

The small plane that the six were traveling with was a Piper PA-24 Comanche. It crashed at 8:45 p.m., shortly after takeoff, on the Champions Golf Course which is located north of the Scottsdale Airport.


The Press Democrat reported that Coogan had more than 27,000 Instagram followers. She had attended Cardinal Newman High School in California before leaving during her junior year to become a model.

She also told the publication that she was going to miss her daughter and it was going to be very hard not having her in their lives. The group was headed for Las Vegas before the crash.



“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.”

Coogan’s mother, The Press Democrat, April 10, 2018

Coogan’s former high school principal, Graham Rutherford, spoke to The Arizona Republic saying she was eager for adventure. He said she liked horses and described her as someone who was easy to talk to.

Rutherford added that she had gotten along well with many students. The model was a horse trainer and did equestrian sports according to Hollywood Life.


Her training took place in San Diego and in 2012. Coogan had recently moved into a modeling house in Hollywood.

She was in Scottsdale at the time of the crash to visit the Phoenix Lights Festival. The model posted a photo of herself in sunglasses on April 7, 2018, that talked about her time at the festival.


The young woman was quite the traveler. Her Instagram page featured several photos of herself in various places, including Costa Rica, Hollywood, Las Vegas, Puerto Rico, and Key West.

She was also enjoyed thrilling activities such as skydiving, snorkeling, and snowmobiling. On the night of the crash, she posted images and videos with the others on the plane just before takeoff.

Coogan could be seen smiling while sitting in the cabin along with Anand, who was also smiling and giving a peace sign to the camera. She is survived by her parents, 3 brothers and 1 sister who all live in Forestville, CA.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.