Richard Philippe

Richard Philippe, who competed in Indy Lights in 2009, was among five people killed in a helicopter crash in the Dominican Republic last week. He was 28.

Philippe, the younger brother of Indy car race winner Nelson Philippe, his grandfather Louis Paul Guitay, Jean- Pierre Emery and Geraldine Moschovis, along with pilot Lt. Col. Roberto Lanfranco of the Dominican Air Force, were aboard a helicopter bound for the resort city of Casa de Campo, where Philippe, a native of France, owned a home.

The director of the Investigative Commission of Aviation Accidents told the Associated Press that the EC20 helicopter disappeared late Thursday after the pilot picked up four people at a hotel in Rio San Juan on the country’s north coast.

Col. Emmanuel Souffront said authorities lost contact with the helicopter some 24 miles northwest of their destination.

Philippe, who won the 2005 Formula BMW USA championship, raced against current Verizon IndyCar Series drivers Simon Pagenaud, Graham Rahal and James Hinchcliffe in Champ Car’s Atlantic Series in 2006.

After racing in Formula Renault 3.5 and Formula 3 Euro in Europe in 2007-08, Philippe joined Indy Lights in 2009. He finished 13th in the standings despite missing four races, with best showings of second place at Long Beach and Edmonton.