Tragic Plane Crash Claims the Lives of North Dakota Senator Doug Larsen and Family
North Dakota Senator Doug Larsen, along with his wife Amy and their two young children, tragically lost their lives in a plane crash in Utah. This devastating incident has left a void in both the political and personal lives of the Larsen family.
Fatal Crash Details
The small plane they were traveling in crashed shortly after taking off from Canyonlands Airfield, located approximately 15 miles north of Moab, Utah. The crash claimed the lives of all four individuals on board, leaving Senator Larsen, his wife, and their two young children with no chance of survival.
Condolences from Senate Majority Leader
The heartbreaking news was confirmed by Republican Senate Majority Leader David Hogue in an email to his fellow senators. He expressed his condolences and shared the tragic details of the Larsen family’s accident. They had been visiting family in Scottsdale, Arizona, and were on their way back home when the crash occurred. A stop for refueling in Utah turned into a devastating tragedy.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is actively investigating the crash of the single-engine Piper plane. The circumstances leading up to the crash are currently under scrutiny, with an NTSB investigator scheduled to arrive at the scene to document evidence, examine the aircraft, gather air traffic communications, radar data, and weather reports, and seek potential witnesses. Additionally, the investigator will request the maintenance records of the aircraft, as well as the medical and flight history of the pilot.
Uncertainty Surrounding the Pilot
It remains unclear who was piloting the plane at the time of the crash. Online Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records simply state that the aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances after takeoff in Moab, Utah. However, in a December 2020 Facebook post, Senator Larsen shared a significant milestone for his wife, mentioning her first flight as a pilot. The post featured an image of a small, orange plane.
A Life of Service and Commitment
Doug Larsen, a Republican, was elected to the North Dakota Senate in 2020, representing a district encompassing Mandan, a city adjacent to Bismarck along the Missouri River. He held the position of chairman for a Senate panel responsible for handling industry and business legislation. Additionally, he served as a lieutenant colonel in the North Dakota National Guard and was a business owner along with his wife, Amy.
A Family Man and Public Servant
Senator Larsen’s Senate Facebook page featured a family photo, reflecting his dedication to both his constituents and his loved ones. Describing himself as a “conservative, Republican outsider working for the Constituents of District 34,” Larsen’s public service extended to his roles in politics and the National Guard.
Appointment of Successor
With Senator Larsen’s tragic passing, the responsibility now falls upon District Republicans to appoint a successor who will serve the remainder of his term through November 2024. The Senate seat will also be on the ballot in the upcoming year. North Dakota’s Legislature is controlled by Republicans, holding supermajorities in both the House and Senate. The accident took place near Moab, a community primarily driven by tourism, nestled close to the stunning Arches and Canyonlands national parks. The loss of Senator Doug Larsen, his family, and the potential contributions he could have made to North Dakota politics is felt deeply by the community, the state, and beyond.