6 PM UPDATE:
ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (AP) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. is safe and in a hospital for evaluation after his plane crashed in east Tennessee, the NASCAR television analyst and retired driver’s sister tweeted.
Earnhardt’s sister, Kelley Earnhardt Miller, tweeted that the driver’s wife, Amy, and 15-month-old daughter, Isla, also were on the plane along with two pilots.
“Everyone is safe and has been taken to the hospital for further evaluation,” she tweeted. “We will have no further information at this time.”
Federal Aviation Administration officials said a Cessna Citation rolled off the end of a runway and caught fire after landing at Elizabethton Municipal Airport at 3:40 p.m. Thursday. FAA officials said the preliminary indication is that two pilots and three passengers were aboard.
Carter County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Thomas Gray confirmed Earnhardt was aboard but said he wasn’t one of the pilots.
Earnhardt retired as a full-time driver in 2017 and has been working as an analyst for NBC. He is part of the scheduled broadcast team for Saturday night’s Cup Series event in Bristol, Tennessee.
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4:45 PM UPDATE:
Carter County (TN) Sheriff Dexter Lunceford, Dale Earnhardt Jr., his wife and child, along with a pilot and another person, were able to get out of the plane safely. A family dog was also on the plane and go out safely as well.
Sheriff Lunceford said Dale Jr. was taken to the hospital, but there are no serious injuries, just cuts and bruises.
Kelley Earnhardt, sister of Dale, Jr., sent out the tweet below:
4:10 PM UPDATE:
Elizabethton Fire Chief Barry Carrier says Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his wife were on the plane that crashed at the Elizabethton Airport this afternoon.
They were not injured in the crash according to Carrier.
ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – Emergency crews are responding to a plane crash at the Elizabethton Airport.
Airport Manager Dan Cogan says a private plane has run off the end of the runway and caught fire. He says all passengers are out of the plane.
Highway 91 at Industrial Drive is closed according to Carter County dispatch.
The sheriff’s office is asking people to avoid the area.
This is a developing story. Look for updates on WJHL.com.