Former NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., along with his wife and child, is safe after escaping a plane crash at a small airport in Tennessee on Thursday, according to CNN.
Earnhardt Jr., his wife Amy Reimann and daughter Isla Earnhardt were in a small private plane with two pilots, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The Cessna Citation rolled off the end of the runway and caught fire after landing at Elizabethton Municipal Airport.
Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford told ABC News that the former race car driver was the only person on board who was hospitalized. He was taken to Johnson City Medical Center with injuries described as cuts and abrasions. Lunceford told local news station WJHL that Earnhardt, Jr. was alert and talking before he was taken to the hospital.
Earnhardt, Jr.’s sister Kelley Earnhardt confirmed the news on Twitter, saying “Everyone is safe and has been taken to the hospital for further evaluation. We have no further information at this time.”
Lunceford told WJHL that the National Transportation Security Board (NTSB) will be investigating the crash, which appeared to be a result of a mechanical issue. The plane skidded out of the airfield and onto Highway 91, piercing a fence and blocking one lane of the highway. No vehicles were impacted, and the highway will remain closed until the Federal Aviation Association and NTSB inspect the area.
The Elizabethton airport is commonly used by NASCAR drivers and officials due to its proximity to the Bristol Motor Speedway. Two races are scheduled for Thursday night, the University of Northwestern Ohio 200 and the Bush’s Beans 150, and will continue, according to the Speedway’s official Twitter account. A pre-race media event was canceled, according to a WJHL reporter.
“No one suffered any serious injuries, he and his family are fine, and the NASCAR world needs to know that,” said Lunceford.
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