North Dakota state senator and family perish in plane crash

October 4, 2023

North Dakota was rocked with tragedy this week after it was revealed that a state senator was killed in a plane crash along with his wife and two young children.

According to Fox News, "state Senator Doug Larsen, 47, and his family crashed Sunday evening about 15 miles north of the town of Moab, shortly after it refueled at the Canyonlands Airfield."

Republican Senate Majority Leader David Hogue confirmed the news in a statement obtained originally by the Associated Press.

"Senator Doug Larsen, his wife Amy, and their two young children died in a plane crash last evening in Utah," Hogue wrote.

He added, "They were visiting family in Scottsdale and 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. Hold your family close today," Hogue continued.

A tribute posted to Larsen's Facebook page read, "It is with great sadness that our community shares in the passing of Sen Doug Larsen, his wife Amy and their two boys, in a tragic plane crash. North Dakota has lost a true public servant, National Guard leader, Iraq war veteran, and member of our community."

It added, "Doug and Amy were gracious, honorable, tremendous partners and admirable business leaders. Their lives, and their precious children’s lives, were sadly cut short. Please keep their family close in your hearts, and often in your prayers, as they endure these challenging times."

Fox News noted:

On Monday, a bouquet of roses was seen draped over the Republican lawmaker's desk inside the Senate chamber, just above his nameplate that reads: "D. Larsen - District 34."

The National Transporation Safety Board (NTSB) dispatched investigators to the scene of the crash "to begin to document the scene, examine the aircraft, request any air traffic communications, radar data, weather reports and try to contact any witnesses. Also, the investigator will request maintenance records of the aircraft, and medical records and flight history of the pilot."

A spokesperson for the agency indicated that a final report on the crash could take a year or more, but a preliminary report will be ready within a few weeks.

It's unclear who was flying the plane when it crashed shortly after takeoff. Both Larsen and his wife were aviators.

The Larsens were also local business owners, and held in high regard in their community.

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