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Student pilot in deadly plane crash had cocaine in the system, officials say



A student pilot sitting in front of a doomed flight – who also sported an Instagram model and social media stars – had cocaine in his system when flying in April on an Arizona golf course, Maricopa County Medical , Examiner's Office crashed on Wednesday said

James Pedroza, 28, was one of the six people who were killed in the wreck on 9 April. The Piper PA-24 Comanche crashed shortly after takeoff at the Champions Course north of Scottsdale Airport, AZ Central reported. The National Transportation Safety Board said the plane had six seats.

The agency published the autopsy reports of the six victims this week. All victims except one "suffered" dull traumas and burn injury by the crash. The plane had flown to Las Vegas.

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Investigators said Pedroza was sitting in the front of the plane with Certified Aircraft Pilot Erik Valente, 26. It was not immediately known who controlled the aircraft at the time of the accident.

The wings of the aircraft rocked during and shortly after takeoff, investigators said. The aircraft took a left turn, and the angle increased before the plane began to lose altitude, she added.

"The wings were almost vertical, and the view of the plane was lost behind a berm," said investigators. "Seconds later, the camera caught a fireball as the plane hit the ground."

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Pedroza called himself an "avid traveler" and published photos of his abode of social media. It was also not immediately clear how much cocaine was found in his system and to what extent the narcotic might have contributed to the incident.

  Mariah Coogan

Mariah Sunshine Coogan, 23, was one of the six people the authorities said died in a plane crash.

(Instagram)

Investigators did not say what crashed the plane, but it appeared that the plane was loaded with a large amount of cargo and passengers.

The accident also left Anand Anil Patel, 28, Helena Lagos, 22, Iris Carolina Rodriguez Garcia, 23, and Mariah Sunshine Coogan, 23, dead. Coogan, an Instagram model, had more than 27,000 followers at the time of her death.

Fox News "Elizabeth Zwirz and Travis Fedschun contributed to this report.

Kathleen Joyce is a cutting-edge news agency for FoxNews.com. You can follow her on @ Kathleen_Joyce8 on Twitter.


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