A devastating plane accident on Sunday evening resulted in the death of North Dakota State Senator Doug Larsen, his wife, and their two young children, as confirmed by authorities. The family was aboard a single-engine aircraft that crashed shortly after departing from Canyonlands Airfield, situated about 15 miles north of the well-known tourist spot, Moab.
The Larsen family was on their way back to North Dakota following a visit to relatives in Scottsdale, Arizona. The fatal accident took place after the plane had stopped for refueling at the Utah airfield. The Grand County Sheriff’s Department verified the incident through a post on social media, revealing that all four passengers on the plane had perished.
In a heartfelt email to his Senate colleagues, North Dakota Republican Senate Majority Leader David Hogue expressed his sorrow over the tragic incident. He encouraged his colleagues to remember the Larsen family in their prayers, especially the grandparents and surviving stepchild of Senator Larsen.
Larsen, a member of the Republican party, was a highly regarded figure in the North Dakota Senate, having been elected in 2020. He led a committee that concentrated on industry and business legislation. Both Larsen and his wife, Amy, were entrepreneurs. In addition to his political and business roles, Larsen also held the rank of lieutenant colonel in the North Dakota National Guard.
Larsen represented Mandan, a city with a population of nearly 25,000 residents located next to the state capital, Bismarck, on the western bank of the Missouri River.
As of Monday afternoon, the cause of the crash was still undetermined. The National Transportation Safety Board has initiated an investigation into the incident. The Grand County Sheriff’s Office reported that the crash was reported around 8:30 p.m., with witnesses stating that the plane had “gone into the ground.”
Rescue operations were launched by deputies from the Grand County Sheriff’s Office, the Moab Fire Department, and Emergency Medical Technicians. However, by midnight on October 2, it was confirmed that all four passengers had not survived the crash. It remains unclear if there were any other passengers on board who may have survived. The National Transportation Safety Board has confirmed that it is investigating the crash.