Tragedy struck North Dakota over the weekend after it was reported that a state senator and his family members perished in a plane crash.
According to The Daily Wire, North Dakota state Senator Doug Larsen (R), his wife, and their two young children were killed in a plane crash in Utah. The unfortunate incident occurred Sunday night.
Reports indicated that the crash happened after the Larsen family visited family in Scottsdale, Arizona. They had stopped in Utah to refuel the airplane.
The crash occurred shortly after takeoff from Canyonlands Airfield.
The Daily Wire noted:
Authorities reportedly said they dispatched emergency responders after receiving a call from a witness who witnessed “a plane going into the ground shortly after taking off from the Canyonlands Airfield north of Moab,” according to The Daily Mail.
A National Transportation Safety Board official said they would be on the scene "to begin to document the scene, examine the aircraft, request any air traffic communications, radar data, weather reports and try to contact any witnesses" and would "request maintenance records of the aircraft, and medical records and flight history of the pilot."
The plane was a single-engine Piper aircraft.
🔥🚨BREAKING NEWS: North Dakota state senator, Doug Larsen, was killed in a plane in Utah with his wife and 2 kids.
The plane crashed shortly after taking off from Canyonlands Airfield about 15 miles (24 kilometers) north of Moab, according to a Grand County Sheriff’s… pic.twitter.com/fEvFbt8xVG
— Dom Lucre | Breaker of Narratives (@dom_lucre) October 2, 2023
Tributes poured out after the tragic news was announced, including a message from North Dakota Republican Senate Majority Leader David Hogue.
"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, according to an Associated Press report.
He added, "Hold your family close today."
ND state Sen. Doug Larsen, wife and sons killed in tragic Utah plane crash https://t.co/cOpFxlUSUV
— The Christian Post (@ChristianPost) October 3, 2023
It's still unclear who was piloting the aircraft. Larsen and his wife were reportedly pilots, with his wife being a newer pilot.
Larsen, who served nearly three decades in the North Dakota Army National Guard, was remembered as a patriot and an honorable man. He and his wife also owned several local businesses.