Dale Earnhardt Jr. Involved in Plane Crash in Elizabethton, Tennessee
ELIZABETHTON, TN. – According to an online news report posted at courier-journal, NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. was involved in a plane crash in Elizabethton, Tennessee. His family was also on board the plane, and the news report says that all of them escaped the fiery wreckage. The accident is under investigation.*
Based on information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the plane was a Cessna Citation 680 business jet, and it was in the process of landing at the Elizabethton Municipal Airport. The report says that the plane rolled off of the runway and subsequently caught on fire. This occurred late in the afternoon, at about 3:40 p.m.
The Elizabethton Fire Chief, Barry Carrier, said that the plane traveled off the runway, then crashed into and wrapped around a fence. It came to a stop in some grass and was already on fire at that point, he said.
The report says that two pilots were on board the plane, along with Earnhardt, his wife, and his daughter. The family members were able to escape the plane while it was already on fire, the report says. The pilots and a dog also escaped, the report indicates. It is not clear how many people required medical attention, but the report says Earnhardt was taken to a hospital in Tennessee and was treated and released.
“The first word to come to my mind is that they were very lucky,” Carrier said of the people aboard the plane. “It looks like everything worked in their favor instead of against them.”
After learning of the crash and everyone’s conditions, NASCAR released a statement that said in part: “We’re extremely relieved to learn that Dale, [his family] and the pilots of the aircraft are safe, and we commend the first responders and medical staff for their quick action.”
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