Aug. 15 (UPI) — Semiretired NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family escaped with minor injuries after their private plane ran off the runway and caught fire Thursday at the Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Tennessee.
Earnhardt suffered only minor cuts and abrasions during the accident. His wife, along with their 1-year-old daughter, family dog and two pilots, also were on the plane, Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford told reporters. No serious injuries were reported.
Kelley Earnhardt, the sister of the star NASCAR driver, said everyone “is safe and has been taken to the hospital for further evaluation.”
“I can confirm Dale, Amy and Isla along with his two pilots were involved in a crash in Bristol, TN, this afternoon,” Kelley Earnhardt wrote on Twitter. “Everyone is safe and has been taken to the hospital for further evaluation. We have no further information at this time. Thank you for your understanding.”
Dale Earnhardt Jr. serves as a NASCAR analyst for NBC. He was flying to Tennessee for this weekend’s races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The 44-year-old driver no longer competes in NASCAR’s Cup Series, but he’s expected to drive in the Xfinity Series race Aug. 31 at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina.