North Dakota State Senator Doug Larsen, his wife Amy, and their two young children were tragically killed in a Utah plane crash.
The small plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Canyonlands Airfield, killing all four occupants. Senator Dough Larsen, his wife, and children were returning home from visiting family in Scottsdale, Arizona, and had stopped in Utah to refuel.
In a haunting Facebook post on Saturday, Larsen’s wife Amy posted that her family was in Scottsdale over the weekend.
She captioned her post: “At a youth football game considering my current clothing options vs Arizona penal code and penalties…F this heat…”
The cause of the crash is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and an NTSB investigator is expected to examine the scene and gather relevant information.
The pilot of the plane at the time of the crash remains unclear.
Doug Larsen, a Republican senator first elected in 2020, represented Mandan, North Dakota, and chaired a Senate panel handling industry and business legislation.
The North Dakota Republican Party will appoint a successor to complete Larsen’s term through November 2024, with his Senate seat on the ballot next year.
Moab, where the crash occurred, is a tourist town near national parks in Utah.
Larsen and his wife were also majority owners of a local hotel, and Larsen was a lieutenant colonel in the North Dakota National Guard.
Deputies said they received a report of a fallen aircraft outside of Moab, Utah, around 8:30pm on Sunday, and a medical helicopter located the downed plane. EMTs responded to the crash site.
Grand County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Monday: “Rescue efforts were completed. Four occupants unfortunately did not survive the crash. Further information will be provided as soon as family members have been notified.”