Breaking: North Dakota state senator, wife and 2 kids Died in plane crash

North Dakota state senator, his wife and 2 kids killed in Utah plane crash

A state senator from North Dakota, along with his wife and their two young children, tragically lost their lives in a plane crash shortly after a refueling stop in Utah. The news of Doug Larsen’s passing was confirmed by Republican Senate Majority Leader David Hogue in an email sent to fellow senators and obtained by The Associated Press.

The plane crashed on Sunday evening, shortly after departing from Canyonlands Airfield, located approximately 15 miles north of the desert recreation town of Moab. The Grand County Sheriff’s Department issued a statement on Facebook, revealing that Senator Larsen was the pilot and that all four individuals on board the plane had tragically perished.

Senator Doug Larsen, his wife Amy, and their two young children lost their lives in a plane crash last evening in Utah, Hogue wrote in his email. They were visiting family in Scottsdale and while returning home, They stopped to refuel in Utah.
“I’m not sure where the bereavement starts with such a tragedy, but I think it starts with prayers for the grandparents, surviving stepchild of Senator Larsen, and extended family of Doug and Amy, Hogue wrote.” Hold your family close today”.

A bouquet of roses was placed over Larsen’s desk in the Senate chamber, just above the nameplate that reads: “D. Larsen – District 34”. The crash of the single-engine Piper plane is under investigation, according to a post by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on the social media website formerly known as Twitter.

Major General Alan Dohrmann, the adjutant general of the North Dakota National Guard, expressed his condolences, stating, “I cannot think of a more tragic loss for one family, and the North Dakota National Guard sends their condolences to all of (the Larsens’) friends and family. Doug was a true patriot who dedicated his life, both in and out of uniform, to serving others. I had the distinct pleasure to call him Brother in Arms.”

Republican State Senator Scott Meyer, who sat behind Larsen in the Senate, remembered him for his unique and dry sense of humor, candidness on issues, and passion for flying. Meyer recalled a Saturday afternoon in the Senate chamber when Larsen engaged fellow senators in a discussion about flying planes and his pursuit of a private pilot’s license.

“He was passionate about flying. He really was,” Meyer said.

The Republican Party in Larsen’s district will appoint a successor to complete the remainder of his term, which lasts until November 2024. Republicans hold supermajorities in both the House and Senate of North Dakota’s Legislature.

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Moab is a tourist-oriented community with a population of about 5,300 people, located near Arches and Canyonlands national parks.

An NTSB spokesperson stated that an investigator from the board was expected to arrive at the scene on Monday “to begin documenting the scene, examining the aircraft, requesting air traffic communications, radar data, weather reports, and attempting to contact witnesses.In addition, the investigator will request maintenance records of the aircraft, as well as medical records and the flight history of the pilot.

Officials did not disclose the plane’s origin or final destination. After landing at the airport, the travelers took a car into Moab before departing again in the refueled plane, NTSB spokesman Fabian Salazar said during a news conference at the airport.

The agency expects to release a preliminary report on the crash within a couple of weeks, followed by a final report in one to one and a half years, Salazar stated.

Doug Larsen was known as a Republican who was first elected to the North Dakota Senate in 2020. His district included Mandan, a city adjacent to Bismarck to the west across the Missouri River. Larsen chaired a Senate panel responsible for industry and business legislation. Him and his wife, Amy, were business owners.

Larsen served 29 years in the North Dakota Army National Guard and was mobilized twice, once to Iraq from 2009-2010 and then to Washington, D.C., from 2013-2014, according to Governor Doug Burgum’s office. He received several honors, including the Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Service Star, and Army Aviator Badge.

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