Earnhardt Releases First Statement After Plane Crash

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. has released his first statement since he was involved in a plane crash last Thursday. (NASCAR Photo)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has released his first statement since he was involved in a plane crash last Thursday. (NASCAR Photo)

MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Dale Earnhardt Jr. has released his first statement after he and his family were involved in a plane crash last Thursday in Tennessee.

In his statement, Earnhardt thanked his pilots, law enforcement, medical personnel and hospital staff for their quick response in the wake of the accident.

The plane crash took place Thursday afternoon at Elizabethton (Tenn.) Municipal Airport. The plane was carrying Earnhardt, his wife Amy, daughter Isla, the family dog and two pilots. All aboard the plane escaped without serious injury.

Senior NTSB Investigator Ralph Hicks said during a press conference last week that the plane bounced twice upon landing, with the right-front landing gear failing shortly thereafter.

“We were able to obtain surveillance footage from buildings around the area that include footage of the accident happening. It shows quite a bit,” noted Hicks. “The airplane basically bounced at least twice before coming down hard on the right (side) main landing gear. You can actually see the right-main landing gear collapsing on the video.

“The airplane continued down the runway, off the end through a fence and came to a stop on Highway 91.”

Earnhardt was scheduled to be a part of the NASCAR on NBC broadcast of Saturday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway, but he was given the weekend off by NBC officials following the crash.