Republican State Senator Doug Larsen, his wife Amy, and their two young children were killed in a plane crash near Moab, Utah, AP reported.
The Larsen family was returning from a visit to family in Scottsdale, Arizona, when they made a refueling stop in Utah. The plane crashed shortly after taking off from Canyonlands Airfield, about 15 miles north of Moab.
“At approximately 8:30 pm the Grand County Sheriff’s Office received information from a reporting party of a plane going into the ground shortly after taking off from the Canyonlands Airfield north of Moab. Classic Air Medical located the downed aircraft and an assessment of patients is currently underway,” according to a statement released by the Grand County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the Grand County Sheriff’s Department, Senator Larsen was piloting the aircraft, and all four people on board were killed.
According to the press release:
- At 8:26 p.m. on October 1st, 2023 Grand County, UT 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.
- Grand County Sheriff’s Office deputies, Grand County EMS, Moab Valley Fire Department, Canyonlands Regional Airport, and Classic Air Medical responded.
The aircraft was located shortly after by Classic Air Medical in a remote area bordering
Canyonlands Regional Airport.
- Tragically, the pilot of the plane, North Dakota State Senator Douglas Larsen, his wife Amy Larsen, and their two youngest children did not survive the crash.
- Canyonlands Airport remains operational as investigations proceed.
The news was confirmed on Monday by Republican Senate Majority Leader David Hogue in an email to his fellow senators.
“Senator Doug Larsen, his wife Amy, and their two young children died in a plane crash last evening in Utah,” Hogue wrote in his email. “They were visiting family in Scottsdale and returning home. They stopped to refuel in Utah.”
“I’m not sure where the bereavement starts with such a tragedy, but I think it starts with prayers for the grandparents, surviving stepchild of Senator Larsen, and extended family of Doug and Amy,” Hogue said. “Hold your family close today.”
The North Dakota Republican Party released a statement on Larsen’s death stating, “On behalf of the NDGOP, we extend our heartfelt sympathy to the Larsen family. Senator Doug Larsen (D34) was a man of faith and a patriot who served in the National Guard. His voice will be missed in the North Dakota Senate.”
State Senator Scott Meyer took to Facebook to pay tribute:
The tragic passing of Senator Larsen, Amy, and their children is still hard to believe. I had the privilege of sitting next to Doug last session, and I will miss our daily chatter. He had a dry sense of humor and not much reaction came from him but if he was giving you a hard time, it meant you were his friend.
I appreciated how black and white Doug was with issues, you knew where he stood and there wasn’t much gray area. He wasn’t much for blowing smoke, and it’s a quality of his that I grew to really respect.
Doug was a hard worker, who wasn’t afraid to dig into the policy in front of him. He was a fair Chairman every time I had to present in front of his committee, he was engaged and asked great questions. We’ll miss him tremendously.
According to AP, Senator Larsen was first elected to the North Dakota Senate in 2020, representing District 34, which comprises the city of Mandan, neighboring Bismarck. He was not just a politician but also a businessman, as he and his wife Amy were business owners. Larsen had a long history of service, having served 29 years in the North Dakota Army National Guard. He had been deployed twice, once to Iraq from 2009-10 and then to Washington, D.C., from 2013-14. He was a recipient of several military honors, including the Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Service Star, and Army Aviator Badge.
Senator Larsen was a vocal critic of mRNA vaccines and advocated for legislation to investigate the “long-term health impacts” of these experimental mRNA shots.
North Dakota State Senator Doug Larsen was killed in plane crash along with his wife and 2 kids in Utah on Sunday.
Earlier this year, Sen. Larsen spoke out in support of a bill to study “the long-term health effects” of mRNA vaccines and shared this story on the Senate floor: pic.twitter.com/TqMEdLKlqF
— TeasLindsay™ (@TexasLindsay_) October 2, 2023