(ReliableNews.org) – On October 1, North Dakota State Senator Doug Larsen (R) and his family left Scottsdale, Arizona, in a single-engine Piper Cherokee PA-28-140. Unfortunately, they will never see those family members again.
Larsen, who was piloting the plane, stopped to refuel at Canyonlands Regional Airport about 15 miles north of Moab. The state senator was with his wife, Amy, and two young sons. He also has a stepchild, but they didn’t accompany the rest of the family on the trip. After the lawmaker fueled up, he took off from the airport. A short time later, the plane crashed, killing everyone on board.
Gov. Doug Burgum (R) released a statement praising the late lawmaker’s accomplishments, noting that he was a husband, father, entrepreneur, coach, lieutenant colonel in the North Dakota National Guard, state senator, and businessman who gave every role 100%. The governor said his fellow Republican had an “unwavering sense of honor and duty.”
Larsen served in the North Dakota National Guard for 29 years and deployed to Iraq twice. During his time in the military, he was awarded the Bronze Service Star, Meritorious Service Medal, and Army Aviator Badge. In 2020, the people of his state elected him to serve in the state Senate.
Maj. Gen. Alan Dohrmann, the adjutant general of the North Dakota National Guard, told The Associated Press that Larsen was a “true patriot who dedicated his life […] to serving others.”
Keith Holloway, a spokesperson for the National Transportation Safety Board, told the press that the cause of the plane crash is under investigation. An investigator traveled to the scene on October 2 to examine the plane, speak to any witnesses, look into the senator’s medical history and flight records, and request traffic communications for the time of the accident.
Republicans in Larsen’s district will appoint a replacement to fill his seat for the remainder of his term, which ends at the end of 2024.
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