Dale Earnhardt Jr., family ‘safe’ after plane crashes, catches fire
BRISTOL, Tenn. - A plane carrying NBC Sports analyst Dale Earnhardt Jr., wife Amy and daughter Isla, went off the runaway Thursday after landing at Elizabethton (Tennessee) Municipal Airport and caught fire, the Federal Aviation Administration reported in a statement.
Kelley Earnhardt tweeted that “everyone is safe” and that those on the plane had been taken to a local hospital for further evaluation.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family were arriving for this weekend’s NASCAR races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The FAA statement read: “A Cessna Citation rolled off the end of Runway 24 and caught fire after landing at Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Tennessee at 3:40 p.m. today. Preliminary indication is that two pilots and three passengers were aboard. Local officials will release their names and conditions. The aircraft registration is N8JR, look up the owner at FAA.gov. The FAA will investigate and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine probable cause of the accident.”
NBC Sports’ statement read: "“We’re incredibly grateful that Dale, his wife Amy, daughter Isla, and the two pilots are safe following today’s accident. After being discharged from the hospital, we communicated with Dale and his team, and we’re all in agreement that he should take this weekend off to be with his family. We look forward to having him back in the booth next month at Darlington.”
NASCAR issued a statement late Thursday night: “We’re extremely relieved to learn that Dale, Amy, Isla and the pilots of the aircraft are safe, and we commend the first responders and medical staff for their quick action. We look forward to seeing Dale back at the race track very soon.”
The National Transportation Safety Board will send two investigators to examine the crash scene.
The Federal Aviation Administration’s preliminary incident report Friday stated: “AIRCRAFT EXPERIENCED HARD LANDING, BOUNCED, DEPARTED RUNWAY AND CAUGHT FIRE”
The airport is located 14 miles southeast of Bristol Motor Speedway.
I can confirm Dale, Amy & Isla along with his two pilots were involved in a crash in Bristol TN this afternoon. Everyone is safe and has been taken to the hospital for further evaluation. We have no further information at this time. Thank you for your understanding.— Kelley Earnhardt (@EarnhardtKelley) August 15, 2019
#NASCAR ... Fans at @BMSupdates for tonight's K&N East race and Truck race are told on the pa system of the plane crash @DaleJr and his family survived earlier today.— Dustin Long (@dustinlong) August 15, 2019
Track GM Jerry Caldwell tells fans: "We ask you to keep Dale in your thoughts and prayers."
NTSB is sending two investigators to Elizabethton, Tennessee, to begin investigation of today's runway excursion accident involving a Cessna 680 business jet.— NTSB Newsroom (@NTSB_Newsroom) August 15, 2019
I know I speak for everyone here in saying we are so grateful for the outpouring of concern and support. Everyone is doing well enough. Lots of hugs. Lots of prayers to the Good Lord. 🙏🏼— Mike Davis (@MikeDavis88) August 16, 2019