FAA, NTSB investigating Utah plane crash that killed North Dakota state senator and family

All four occupants on board were killed, according to authorities.

October 2, 2023, 5:22 PM

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating a small plane crash that killed all four occupants -- North Dakota state Sen. Doug Larsen, his wife and their two children -- in Moab, Utah, according to officials.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum confirmed the deaths in a statement Monday afternoon.

"First Lady Kathryn, Lt. Gov. [Tammy] Miller and I are deeply saddened by the heartbreaking loss of Sen. Doug Larsen, his wife, Amy, and their two young sons," Burgum wrote.

"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," he continued. "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."

The single-engine Piper PA-23 crashed around 8:20 p.m. PT on Sunday shortly after taking off from Canyonlands Regional Airport, according to the FAA. The plane's registered owner was listed as Douglas Larsen of Mandan, North Dakota, according to the FAA aircraft registry.

Grand County Sheriff's deputies and Moab Fire Department personnel responded to the crash, according to a statement from the Grand County Sheriff's Office.

Just after midnight, the sheriff's office confirmed in a Facebook post that rescue efforts were completed and the four occupants on board did not survive the crash.

"Further information will be provided as soon as family members have been notified," the sheriff's office wrote.

Earlier Monday, Republican Senate Majority Leader David Hogue informed state senators that Larsen had died, The Associated Press reported, citing an email the outlet obtained.

Larsen was a 29-year member of the North Dakota Army National Guard and had served in the state Senate since 2021, representing District 34, Burgum said.

"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," Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann, adjutant general of the North Dakota National Guard, said in a statement. "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."

Calls to Hogue and a Senate spokesperson were not immediately returned.

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