UPDATE: 10/2, 3:34 p.m.
Governor Doug Burgum and Major General Alan Dohrmann have released the following statements today regarding the deaths of state Sen. Doug Larsen of Mandan, his wife, Amy, and their two young sons, as a result of a plane crash Sunday in Utah.
“First Lady Kathryn, Lt. Gov. Miller and I are deeply saddened by the heartbreaking loss of Sen. Doug Larsen, his wife, Amy, and their two young sons. Sen. Larsen was a father, husband, coach, entrepreneur, businessman, state senator and lieutenant colonel in the North Dakota National Guard who committed himself fully to each of those roles with an unwavering sense of honor and duty,” said Burgum, commander-in-chief of the North Dakota National Guard. “As a legislator, he was a tenacious advocate for individual rights and the freedoms he defended through his military service. We extend our deepest sympathies and prayers to his family and friends and join his legislative colleagues, National Guard brothers and sisters and the Mandan community in mourning the tragic passing of Sen. Larsen and his family.”
“I am saddened by the loss of Doug Larsen, his wife Amy, and their two sons. I cannot think of a more tragic loss for one family, and the North Dakota National Guard sends our condolences to all of their friends and family,” Dohrmann said. “Doug was a true patriot who dedicated his life, both in and out of uniform, to serving others. I had the distinct pleasure to call him a Brother in Arms.”
Larsen enlisted in the North Dakota Army National Guard on March 14, 1994, as a combat engineer. He completed Basic Combat Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and was appointed as a commissioned officer on Aug. 18, 2001.
He served as an engineer officer and later became an aviation officer on Oct. 19, 2006. Larsen was mobilized twice: once in 2009-2010 to Iraq as the company commander for Charlie Company of the 2-285th Assault Battalion, and again in 2013-2014 to Washington, D.C., in support of Operation Noble Eagle with the 1-188th Air Defense Artillery Battalion.
He earned numerous honors and awards including the Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Service Star, and Army Aviator Badge.
ORIGINAL STORY: 10/2, 1:28 p.m.
MOAB, Utah (AP) — A state senator from North Dakota, his wife, and their two young children died when the small plane they were riding crashed in Utah, a Senate leader said Monday.
Doug Larsen’s death was confirmed Monday in an email that Republican Senate Majority Leader David Hogue sent to his fellow senators. The plane crashed Sunday evening shortly after taking off from Canyonlands Airfield about 15 miles (24 kilometers) north of Moab, according to a Grand County Sheriff’s Department statement posted on Facebook.
The plane crashed Sunday evening shortly after taking off from Canyonlands Airfield about 15 miles (24 kilometers) north of Moab, according to a Grand County Sheriff’s Department statement posted on Facebook.
The sheriff’s office said all four people on board the plane were killed, but the Federal Aviation Administration reports that three people died and one person had serious injuries.
According to an FAA report on recent crashes, the single-engine Piper plane has the same tail number as a plane registered to North Dakota state Senator Doug Larsen of Mandan. The addresses on the plane registration and the address of the senator match. It was not immediately known if Larsen was on board.
The crash was being investigated, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a post on X, the social media website formerly called Twitter.
A phone message left with sheriff’s officials seeking additional information wasn’t immediately returned Monday.
Moab is a tourism-centered community of about 5,300 people near Arches and Canyonlands national parks.
Larsen has been in the North Dakota Senate since 2021, he represented District 34 in Mandan and served in the North Dakota National Guard for 29 years.