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Funerals honor the family and lawmaker from North Dakota who died in the Utah plane disaster



Bismarck, North Dakota – A late North Dakota senator and his family are being remembered by friends and relatives after they passed away in a Utah plane tragedy last week.

The single-engine airplane carrying state senator Doug Larsen, his wife Amy, and their two sons, Everett, age 8, and Christian, age 11, crashed on October 1. Shortly before the crash, they had stopped to gas on their way back from a family event in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Piloting the single-engine Piper Cherokee was Doug Larsen, a 29-year veteran of the North Dakota Army National Guard who also piloted Black Hawk helicopters. The accident’s cause is being looked at by the National Transportation Safety Board. We anticipate receiving a preliminary report maybe next week.

Tuesday was designated for funeral ceremonies in Bismarck, with interment to follow at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery located south of Mandan.

In 2020, Republican Larsen was elected to the Senate of North Dakota. He presided over a Senate committee that dealt with business and industry-related issues. Republican state senator Jim Roers told The Associated Press that he recently obtained his commercial pilot’s license and expects to work as a pilot for a big airline in the future. According to Roers, Larsen had received at least one job offer from commuter airlines.

Among the companies Doug and Amy Larsen owned were a hotel and a home construction company.

According to the governor’s office, Larsen, 47, was a lieutenant colonel in the North Dakota Army National Guard and had two military mobilizations. Among other awards, he received the Army Aviator Badge, Bronze Service Star, and Meritorious Service Medal. As per a Guard official, he accrued around 1,776 hours of total military flying experience.

Since the accident, grievors have placed flowers on Larsen’s Senate desk at the state capitol. Other legislators attending regular sessions at the Capitol have also held minutes of quiet and made tributes to the Larsen family.

According to Federal Aviation Administration records, Larsen’s Piper PA-28-140, also referred to as a “Cherokee,” was constructed in 1966. It passed a safety inspection, as evidenced by the June renewal of its airworthiness certificate, which was valid until 2030. According to the National Weather Service, there were wide-spread light showers, calm breezes, and pleasant weather in the vicinity of the airport at the time of the incident.

A replacement for Larsen will be chosen by District Republicans to serve out the balance of his term, which ends in November 2024. Next year, there will be a vote for his Senate seat. Larsen was a representative for a district that included Mandan, a city on the Missouri River that borders Bismarck to the west.