Dale Earnhardt Releases Statement on Plane Crash, Provides Update on Family

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 19, 2019

The burned remains of a plane that was carrying NASCAR television analyst and former driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. lies near a runway Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, in Elizabethton, Tenn. Officials said the Cessna Citation rolled off the end of a runway and caught fire after landing at Elizabethton Municipal Airport. Earnhardt's sister, Kelley Earnhardt Miller, tweeted that
Uncredited/Associated Press

On Monday, former NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. released a statement thanking supporters and updating the status of his family following their plane crash at Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Elizabethton, Tennessee:

"Amy and I want to thank everyone who has lifted us up with phone calls, messages and prayer since last Thursday. We are truly blessed that all on board escaped with no serious injuries, including our daughter, our two pilots and our dog Gus. With respect to the investigation, we will not be speculating or discussing the cause of the accident. I am thankful for the quick response of my pilots, local law enforcement, emergency personnel and hospital staff. Lastly, Amy and I continue to be very appreciative of the privacy extended to us to process everything. It has been important to do that together and on our own time." 

Steve Almasy, Dave Alsup and David Close of CNN reported on the crash, noting the Federal Aviation Administration said the private jet rolled off the runway and caught fire. The two pilots and three passengers escaped serious injury, although Earnhardt was briefly hospitalized.

Kelley Earnhardt, who is the co-owner of JR Motorsports and Earnhardt’s sister, tweeted that Dale was safe, as was his wife, Amy, and daughter, Isla.

According to Madeline Holcombe of CNN, NASCAR responded to the crash by providing free tickets to the first responders from the Carter County Tennessee Sheriff's Office for the Bristol Motor Speedway night race.

Earnhardt was scheduled to attend the race as well but instead spent time with his family following the crash.