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FAA: Dale Jr.'s plane had hard landing, bounced, departed runway

NTSB Senior Investigator Ralph Hicks provides an update regarding the plane crash in Tennessee involving Dale Earnhardt Jr. as well as his wife and daughter.

BRISTOL, Tenn. — A preliminary incident notification from the Federal Aviation Administration on Friday stated that the plane carrying Dale Earnhardt Jr., his wife and daughter “experienced (a) hard landing, bounced, departed runway and caught fire.”

Earnhardt’s Cessna 680A Citation Latitude crashed after landing at Elizabethton (Tennessee) Municipal Airport on Thursday. The plane ran off the 5,000-foot runway, went through the grass, down a ditch and through a chain-link fence that wrapped around part of the fuselage before the plane came to rest near a road.

Earnhardt, wife Amy and daughter Isla escaped the plane along with the two pilots before flames consumed the 10-seat plane that is registered to JR Motorsports.

Kelley Earnhardt Miller issued a statement Friday afternoon:

“We want to reiterate our appreciation to the NASCAR community, first responders, medical staff, and race fans everywhere for the overwhelming support in the last 24 hours. Dale, Amy, Isla and our two pilots are doing well. We are assisting the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board in the investigation and will have no further comment at this time.”
NBC Sports announced Thursday that Earnhardt would not be a part of this weekend’s broadcast of the NASCAR races at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The runway was updated less than two years ago. The airport announced in October 2017 that the runway would be extended 400 feet.

For more on this, continue to follow NBC Sports and watch NASCAR America at 5 p.m. ET Friday on NBCSN.