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What we know about Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s plane crash in Elizabethton – The Tennessean

What we know about Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s plane crash in Elizabethton – The Tennessean
17 Aug
2:13

Dale Earnhardt Jr., his family and two pilots survived a fiery plane crash with no injuries at the end of a runway at Elizabethon Municipal Airport in Elizabethton, Tennessee.

The crash happened around 2:40 p.m. Thursday, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Here’s what we know about the crash.

Small plane crashed, plowed through fence and caught fire

The small plane crashed near the end of the runway, plowed through a fence past the runway and caught on fire, Elizabethton Fire Chief Barry Carrier said.

A video shared by Scott Reis on Facebook showed the fiery wreckage as people walked away from the wreckage and as authorities rushed to the scene.

Earnhardt, his wife and daughter, two pilots and a dog quickly rushed out of the plane and away from the scene as authorities arrived, Carrier said. Fencing was wrapped around the crashed plane but did not block the cabin doors, according to Carrier. 

The plane experienced a hard landing and bounced, leaving the runway and catching fire, the Accident and Incident Notice report from the Federal Aviation Administration said.

Dale Earnhardt discharged from hospital Thursday night

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Earnhardt went to a local hospital after the crash for observation, Carrier said. He was discharged from the hospital later Thursday with no injuries reported, a NBC Sports spokesman confirmed.

FAA, NTSB are investigating

The plane experienced a hard landing and bounced leading to a Thursday crash, according to an initial report released Friday from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Two NTSB investigators, along with the FAA, are investigating the crash site.

By 7 p.m. Thursday, Carrier said local fire and police departments were preserving evidence on the scene for the NTSB before the investigators’ arrival.

The plane, registered under the code N8JR was registered to JRM Air LLC in Mooresville, N.C., which is Earnhardt’s hometown. His race team, JR Motorsports, is based in Mooresville, and Earnhardt’s current home sits just north of the town most well-known for its connection to NASCAR teams and drivers.

Dale Jr. won’t be an analyst for NASCAR races this weekend

Earnhardt and his family’s plane was landing 15 miles away from Bristol Motor Speedway, the site of this weekend’s NASCAR races. Earnhardt was in the area a day before he was scheduled to be in the broadcast booth at Bristol as a TV analyst for NBC Sports this weekend.

A NBC Sports spokesman said that Earnhardt and the network mutually agreed that he would spend the weekend with his family instead of calling races at Bristol. Earnhardt will be back in the TV booth Sept. 1 at Darlington. 

NASCAR world relieved

Earnhardt is among the most popular drivers in the history of stock car racing, rivaling only his father, Dale Earnhardt Sr., and seven-time Cup Series champion Richard Petty in terms of fan popularity.

The NASCAR world took a collective breath as they awaited for official news of Earnhardt Jr. and his family’s safety. Once Earnhardt Jr.’s sister, Kelley, tweeted out that everyone was safe, a big sigh of relief was let out.

Source: https://www.tennessean.com/story/sports/nascar/2019/08/16/dale-earnhardt-jr-plane-crash-what-we-know-bristol-nbc-sports/2027404001/

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