Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s Plane Crashes in Tennessee
Former NASCAR racer Dale Earnhardt Jr., his wife and their child were on a plane that crashed near Bristol, Tenn. on Thursday afternoon (Aug. 15). Photos and video show the plane on the ground, engulfed in flames.
Two pilots were also onboard, as was the family's dog according to WJHL-TV. All were treated for minor injuries, with the racer's injuries described as cuts and abrasions. He was hospitalized, and his sister Kelley Earnhardt updated fans on Twitter just before 4PM CT:
NBC Sports reports that Earnhardt's plane went off the runway and caught fire after landing at the Elizabethton Municipal Airport. Dale Jr., Amy and their daughter, Isla, were arriving for the weekend's race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Earnhardt Jr. works as an analyst for NASCAR races.
The full statement from the FAA (per NBC Sports) reads:
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.
WJHL quotes a fire marshal who said there were 1,000 gallons of fuel on the plane and a significant amount spilled. The leaking has stopped as of 4:50PM CT.
Several drivers breathed a sigh of relief after hearing that the 44-year-old and everyone on board is safe. "Thank you for the update and thank god everyone is safe," Jimmie Johnson tweeted in response to Kelley.
Earnhardt's father, Dale Earnhardt Sr., famously died in a crash in February 2001.
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