Senator, wife, and two children die in plane crash

MOAB, UT – A tragic plane crash in Moab, Utah, claimed the lives of four people, including North Dakota state Sen. Doug Larsen, his wife, and their two children. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is now investigating the fatal incident in collaboration with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The single-engine Piper PA-23, registered under Larsen’s name, crashed shortly after takeoff from Canyonlands Regional Airport around 8:20 p.m. PT on Sunday. The wreckage was found in a remote area near the airport, which is located just outside Arches National Park near the Colorado state line. The Grand County Sheriff’s Office and Moab Fire Department personnel were among the first responders at the crash site. The sheriff’s office confirmed the fatalities in a Facebook post after midnight, stating that all four occupants of the plane did not survive.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum expressed his condolences in a statement released Monday afternoon. He remembered Larsen as a dedicated father, husband, coach, entrepreneur, businessman, state senator, and lieutenant colonel in the North Dakota National Guard. Burgum praised Larsen’s commitment to his roles and his advocacy for individual rights and freedoms.

Larsen, a 29-year veteran of the North Dakota Army National Guard, had been serving in the state Senate since 2021, representing District 34. His loss was also mourned by Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann, who is the adjutant general of the North Dakota National Guard. He described Larsen as a true patriot dedicated to serving others.

Further details about the crash will be released as the investigation progresses and after the family members have been notified, according to the sheriff’s office.