AceShowbiz - Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family luckily survived a plane crash. The former NASCAR driver, his wife Amy and their one-year-old daughter were on board a private plane which crashed at in Tennessee on Thursday, August 15.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Cessna Citation, registered under Earnhardt's JR Motorsports, rolled off the end of a runway after landing at Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Elizabethton, about 65 miles north of Asheville, at 3:38 P.M. ET. The plane touched down about halfway down the runway, Elizabethton Mayor Curt Alexander said in a statement.
The plane caught fire after landing. Five people, including Dale and his family as well as two pilots, were on board the plane, which tail number was N8JR. Elizabethton Fire Chief Barry Carrier said that all five people were out of the plane when the fire department arrived.
"When our first unit arrived, there were heavy flames coming from the airplane," said Barry. The fire burned for 20 minutes. The jet crashed through a fence, the chief said. The airplane fuselage was wrapped with a portion on the fence when it came to a stop.
Barry added they were lucky that the fence didn't block the exit. "If the fence had blocked the exit that could have been really bad," he said during an evening news conference. "They were very lucky." He described the aircraft as "pretty much destroyed" after the fire.
All five of them were transported to Johnson City Medical Center as a precaution. A video shows Dale being treated by EMS at the crash scene. Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford said the "NASCAR on NBC" analyst was the only one who was hospitalized.
Following the plane crash, Dale's sister Kelley Earnhardt confirmed that all people involved in the crash are okay. "I can confirm Dale, Amy & Isla along with his two pilots were involved in a crash in Bristol TN this afternoon," she tweeted. "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."
Dale spent a few hours at a hospital before he was released. His injuries were described as cuts and abrasions.
A spokesperson for NBC Sports said in a statement, "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."
It is still unknown as to what caused the crash. Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will send two investigators to Elizabethton to look into the accident, the agency said.