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HomemidwestNo evidence of mechanical failure in plane crash that killed ND state...

No evidence of mechanical failure in plane crash that killed ND state senator, feds say

Federal investigators say they found no evidence of a mechanical failure before a North Dakota state senator’s plane crashed in Utah last month, killing him, his wife and their two young children, according to a preliminary report released Thursday by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Doug and Amy Larsen and their two sons, 11-year-old Christian and 8-year-old Everett, died Oct. 1 in the crash near Moab, Utah. The family’s single-engine aircraft went down shortly after they stopped to refuel while returning home from a family gathering in Arizona.

The plane was piloted by Doug Larsen, 47, who flew Black Hawk helicopters and mobilized twice during his 29 years with the North Dakota Army National Guard.

District Republicans recently appointed a successor for his seat representing Mandan, the city neighboring Bismarck to the west across the Missouri River. Justin Gerhardt, a project manager with a construction company who served nine years with the North Dakota Army National Guard, will serve the remainder of Larsen’s term through November 2024. The seat is on the ballot next year for a full, four-year term.

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