Indian American dies in TPC Scottsdale plane crash

Anand “Happy” Patel (left) and his brother Akash Patel (right).
(Courtesy: Facebook)

Investigators have released three names of the six people who died in a plane crash on a golf course in Scottsdale, Arizona at around 8:45 p.m. on Monday night; one of them is an Indian American, according to The Arizona Republic.

Anand Patel was “an entrepreneur with lots of energy and lots of charisma,” according to his twin brother, Akash.

The brothers came to the U.S. in 2009 to attend college.

Since “Anand” translates to “happiness,” Anand was popularly known as Anand “Happy” Patel on social media, according to a Phoenix New Times report.

According to, the Oklahoma resident co-founded a clothing line and worked as an event promoter, flying coast to coast with friends and clients on trips that often included stops in Scottsdale.

“My brother was taken away from us doing what he loved to do the most, which was spending time with his friends and flying,” Akash Patel told The Arizona Republic, adding that Anand lived a “celebrity life” as an “Instagram star.”

“I have never felt so empty. I lost my only brother – my young and dynamic 26-year-old twin last night to a plane crash in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was a point of light who brought happiness to thousands around the world. RIP Anand Happy Patel … I love you,” he tweeted.

Investigators are still trying to determine if the small Piper PA-24 was equipped to carry all six that were onboard.

“Right now, it’s something we’re trying to find out,” Eliott Simpson, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, said during a news briefing near the site of the crash.

The other two people who died in the crash with Patel were Mariah Coogan, a horse trainer who did equestrian sports and dropped out of high school in 2012 to pursue a modeling career and James Pedroza, who worked as a VIP host at a gay nightclub at the Mirage in Las Vegas.

According to a video posted by Coogan’s, the group was off to Las Vegas as they were seen enjoying the moment right after they took off from Scottsdale Airport and minutes before the plane crashed into the golf course and burst into flames about three-fourths of a mile away and 30 degrees to the left of the runway in an area next to the green at the second hole on the Champions Golf Course at TPC Scottsdale just north of the airport, according to a report.

According to a report, Federal Aviation Administration records say that the aircraft was built in 1970 and though it was listed as a four-seater, Simpson said that the FFA could have modified the design that year to fit more passengers.

Investigators say it was the deadliest crash Arizona had seen in years.



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