State senator, wife, and kids die in horrifying plane crash

BISMARCK, ND – A deadly tragic plane crash in Utah claimed the lives of a North Dakota state senator, his wife, and their two young children, according to a statement from Senate Majority Leader David Hogue on Monday. Doug Larsen, a Republican senator, and his family were returning from a visit to relatives in Arizona when the accident occurred.

The small aircraft, a single-engine Piper, crashed shortly after takeoff from Canyonlands Airfield, located approximately 15 miles north of Moab, Utah. The Grand County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the fatalities in a statement on social media. An investigation into the crash has been initiated by the National Transportation Safety Board.

In his communication to fellow senators, Hogue expressed his condolences over Senator Doug Larsen and his wife, Amy, losing their lives alongside their two young children. He noted that they were visiting family in Scottsdale, Arizona before making the trip to return home. During their travels, they stopped in Utah on their way home to refuel their plane. Hougue urged his colleagues to offer prayers for the surviving relatives, including the grandparents and a stepchild of Senator Larsen.

Larsen, who was first elected to the North Dakota Senate in 2020, represented Mandan, a city adjacent to Bismarck across the Missouri River. He chaired a Senate panel that dealt with industry and business legislation. In addition to his political career, Larsen was a lieutenant colonel in the North Dakota National Guard and a business owner, along with his wife, Amy.

The crash occurred near Moab, a community of about 5,300 residents that is popular with tourists due to its proximity to Arches, as well as Canyonlands national parks.