North Dakota state Senator Doug Larsen, his wife, and their two young children were killed in a small plane crash in eastern Utah, according to state officials.
North Dakota Senate Majority Leader David Hogue announced the deaths to his colleagues via email on Monday morning.
The plane crashed shortly after it took off from Canyonlands Airfield, about 15 miles north of Moab, according to a Grand County Sheriff’s Department statement posted to Facebook.
Mr Hogue’s email said that the Larsens were on their way home from a visit with family members in Arizona, and had stopped to refuel in Utah prior to the crash, KFGO reports.
“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,” Mr Hogue wrote. “Hold your family close today.”
Mr Larsen reportedly had a step-child who was not on the plane at the time of the crash.
The National Transportation Safety Board said on Monday it would investigate the crash of the single-engine Piper aircraft used by the lawmaker and his family.
Mr Larsen, a Republican, was self-employed and formerly served as a member of the North Dakota Army National Guard for 28 years. He represented the 34th District since 2021 in the state’s senate, and sat on a panel that dealt with industrial and business legislation.