North Dakota State Senator and Family Perish in Utah Plane Crash

MOAB, Utah – A tragic plane crash claimed the lives of North Dakota State Senator Doug Larsen, his wife, and their two young children on Sunday evening, according to officials. The single-engine plane they were traveling in crashed shortly after taking off from Canyonlands Airfield, located approximately 15 miles north of the popular tourist destination, Moab.

The Larsen family was returning to North Dakota after visiting relatives in Scottsdale, Arizona. The fatal crash occurred after a refueling stop at the Utah airfield. The Grand County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the incident via a social media post, stating that all four passengers aboard the plane were killed.

In a heartfelt email to Senate colleagues, North Dakota Republican Senate Majority Leader David Hogue expressed his condolences. He urged his colleagues to keep the Larsen family in their prayers, particularly the grandparents and surviving stepchild of Senator Larsen.

Larsen, a Republican, was a respected figure in the North Dakota Senate, having been elected in 2020. He chaired a panel that focused on industry and business legislation. Both Larsen and his wife, Amy, were business owners. Larsen also served as a lieutenant colonel in the North Dakota National Guard.

Larsen represented Mandan, a city of nearly 25,000 residents located adjacent to the state capital, Bismarck, on the western bank of the Missouri River.

As of Monday afternoon, the cause of the crash remained unknown. The National Transportation Safety Board has launched 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 efforts were initiated 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.