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Dale Earnhardt Jr. survives plane crash at small Tennessee airport, officials say

In a 2014 CNN interview, famed NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. says his fame began very early in his racing career because of his family legacy.

Posted: Aug 15, 2019 6:00 PM
Updated: Aug 15, 2019 6:00 PM

Dale Earnhardt Jr, famed NASCAR driver and auto racing analyst, and his wife were involved in a private jet crash in eastern Tennessee and escaped serious injury, officials said Thursday.

Elizabethton Fire Chief Barry Carrier told CNN affiliate WJHL that Earnhardt and his wife, Amy, were on the plane that crashed at Elizabethton Municipal Airport. Local police said the plane ran off the runway upon landing at 3:38 p.m. ET.

The retired driver's sister, Kelley, tweeted that those on board were OK.

"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,"

The Federal Aviation Administration said a Cessna Citation rolled off the end of a runway and caught fire after landing. It said it received no reports of injuries.

The FAA said two pilots and three passengers were aboard.

The plane's tail number was N8JR, the FAA said.

Chief Carrier told CNN that all five people were out of the plane when the fire department arrived.

"When our first unit arrived, there were heavy flames coming from the airplane," said Carrier. The fire burned for 20 minutes.

Carrier says they were transported to Johnson City Medical Center as a precaution.

Bristol City Motor Speedway is a few miles from the airport. The Monster Energy NASCAR Series is scheduled there for Saturday night.

The airport remains closed while authorities investigate the crash and attend to a fuel spill.

In 2017, Earnhardt, 44, was voted as NASCAR's most popular driver for the 15th straight year.

Earnhardt, son of the late racing legend Dale Earnhardt, is a NASCAR analyst for NBC. A network spokesperson said: "We are aware of the media reports and have been in contact with Dale's team. We'll have no further comment until we have more details."

Earnhardt has survived a fiery crash in the past.

In 2004, he was driving a Corvette during a practice session at an American Le Mans Series race at the Sonoma Raceway in California. After a seemingly innocent looking one vehicle wreck, Earnhardt Jr's car suddenly burst into flames -- engulfing his yellow Corvette in fire. In multiple interviews since that accident, Earnhardt credits a spiritual being for pulling him out of the pyre to safety.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 295295

Reported Deaths: 6724
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19672230
Hinds18799386
Harrison16710278
Rankin12685264
Jackson12592226
Lee9687160
Madison9457199
Jones7962146
Forrest7208136
Lauderdale6833226
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Lamar588080
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Monroe3989126
Union395374
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Tate302474
Pike300195
Scott293870
Alcorn291861
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Yazoo289262
Tippah278765
Copiah277857
Coahoma277568
Simpson274878
Prentiss269758
Wayne253841
Marion252678
Leake252471
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Adams234377
George231745
Newton229652
Winston221675
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Attala206569
Chickasaw201151
Holmes182270
Clay179150
Stone172429
Tallahatchie170539
Clarke169371
Calhoun157828
Smith152731
Yalobusha144836
Greene127633
Walthall124140
Noxubee122829
Montgomery122438
Perry121634
Lawrence120321
Carroll118225
Amite111533
Webster110630
Jefferson Davis101731
Tunica99023
Claiborne98429
Benton93324
Humphreys92827
Kemper90223
Quitman77114
Franklin76119
Choctaw69516
Jefferson62527
Wilkinson62426
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 493769

Reported Deaths: 9931
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson710731374
Mobile36139727
Madison32425455
Tuscaloosa24184410
Montgomery22586500
Shelby21968215
Baldwin19758283
Lee14967153
Morgan13667251
Calhoun13300286
Etowah13184319
Marshall11262209
Houston10104261
Elmore9385185
Limestone9363134
Cullman8897181
St. Clair8827223
Lauderdale8607211
DeKalb8459175
Talladega7523163
Walker6524255
Jackson6495102
Autauga627091
Blount6102127
Colbert6004118
Coffee5249102
Dale4642107
Russell404930
Franklin399177
Covington3960106
Chilton3876100
Escambia377672
Tallapoosa3588142
Clarke343650
Chambers3413110
Dallas3403141
Pike293472
Lawrence283484
Marion281995
Winston246867
Bibb245060
Geneva239970
Marengo236455
Pickens224654
Barbour211651
Hale210568
Fayette200756
Butler196866
Henry182441
Cherokee177038
Monroe166139
Randolph163740
Washington156535
Crenshaw144854
Clay144454
Macon142043
Cleburne137839
Lamar132833
Lowndes131151
Wilcox121825
Bullock116936
Conecuh106724
Perry105627
Sumter98531
Coosa88923
Greene88232
Choctaw55123
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