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Former NASCAR Driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. Avoids Serious Injury After Plane Crashes in Elizabethton

Courtesy photo – NTSB

By Nathan Ham

Former NASCAR driver and current television analyst for NASCAR on NBC, Dale Earnhardt Jr., as well as his wife Amy and daughter Isla, were able to escape with just a few bumps and bruises after Earnhardt Jr.’s plane crashed off the runway in Elizabethton.

Earnhardt and his family were flying into Elizabethton Municipal Airport in preparation for this weekend’s races at Bristol Motor Speedway. The Earnhardt family, their dog and two pilots were on board the plane when it crashed around 3:40 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. They were all able to run away from the plane as it turned into a fiery pile of wreckage.

The former driver was taken to Johnson City Medical Center and released later in the evening after being treated for minor cuts and abrasions.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are still investigating the accident. Early reports indicate that the Cessna Citation landed on the runway but ended up crashing through a fence at the end of the runway before coming to a stop on Highway 91.

According to a statement released by NBC Sports, Earnhardt will not be in the broadcast booth for Friday night’s Xfinity Series race or Saturday night’s Monster Energy Cup Series race and will instead be spending time with his family.