On June 28th, a tragic event shook the small town of Toas, Utah. A small aircraft owned and operated by North Dakota State Senator, John Thomas, and his family was found crashed earlier that day. While Senator Thomas was able to make it to safety, his wife, Melanie, and two children, Jacob and Elizabeth, did not survive.
The Thomas family had been in Utah to visit family members for the weekend. Senator Thomas had rented the plane in Toas and was returning to North Dakota when the plane developed mechanical problems, forcing them to make an emergency landing. Unfortunately, the plane struck an unknown obstacle while it was on the ground, and crashed in a nearby ravine.
Driven by a strong sense of service, Senator Thomas had long been an advocate for the citizens of North Dakota. His goal was to ensure that all citizens had access to excellent education and health care, while preserving the unique cultural heritage of the state. In his 11 years of public service, he was known for his commitment to the people he represented.
At the time of the accident, the plane was still under investigation, but it was assumed mechanical failure was the factor. Family members, friends, and colleagues have been expressing immense sorrow since the tragedy. All across North Dakota, flags have been lowered to half-mast in respect for the Thomas family.
Senators Mark Johnson and Kathy Hogan of North Dakota released a joint statement expressing their grief and admiration for Senator Thomas. They said, “John Thomas’ commitment to service was an inspiration to us all. We hope that this tragedy serves as a reminder to us all to cherish our time on earth, and live life to the fullest. Our prayers are with the Thomas family during this difficult time.”
This unfortunate accident has cast a deep shadow of sadness over the Thomas family, and the state of North Dakota. However, it has also brought people together in a show of support and mourning for the life that tragically ended too soon. We hope that Senator Thomas can find strength from the support of his community and live on to honor the memory of his beloved wife and children.