Tuesday, October 03, 2023
US media reported Monday that North Dakota Doug Larsen, his wife and two young children could not survive a plane crash that occurred in Utah as the family was heading home after paying relatives a visit.
The Republican senator's death was confirmed by his fellow legislator and Majority Leader David Hogue which was widely quoted in media reports.
The plane was piloted by Doug Larsen which crashed Sunday evening after he took off from Canyonlands Airfield about 15 miles north of Moab.
Grand County Sheriff's Department statement posted on Facebook saying all four people on board the plane were killed.
On Monday, the sheriff's department noted: "The county's dispatch center received a report of an isolated incident involving a single aircraft taking off from the Canyonlands Regional Airport and then crashing into the ground."
"Senator Doug Larsen, his wife Amy, and their two young children died in a plane crash last evening in Utah," Hogue's email quoted by CBS News read, adding that "they were visiting family in Scottsdale and returning home. They stopped to refuel in Utah."
National Transportation Safety Board has commenced an investigation into the small piper plane crash.
Local emergency services and authorities promptly responded to the call after a medical aircraft spotted the downed plane, the sheriff's office said.
An NTSB spokesman earlier said a board investigator was expected to arrive at the scene Monday "to begin to document the scene, examine the aircraft, request any air traffic communications, radar data, weather reports and try to contact any witnesses. Also, the investigator will request maintenance records of the aircraft, and medical records and flight history of the pilot."
In a December 2020 Facebook post, Larsen noted his wife had flown "her first flight as a pilot." The post included a picture of a small, orange plane.
Larsen was first elected to the North Dakota Senate in 2020. His district comprises Mandan, the city neighbouring Bismarck to the west across the Missouri River. Larsen chaired a Senate panel that handled industry and business legislation.
He was also a lieutenant colonel in the North Dakota National Guard. He and his wife, Amy, were business owners.