Last week, Dale Earnhardt Jr., his wife Amy, and their daughter Isla Rose were all in a fiery plane crash in Tennessee. Along with two pilots, the three were involved in a crash at the Elizabethon Municipal Airport.
"NTSB is sending two investigators to Elizabethton, Tennessee, to begin investigation of today's runway excursion accident involving a Cessna 680 business jet," NTSB Newsroom initially reported.
"A Cessna Citation rolled off the end of Runway 24 and caught fire after landing at Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Tennessee at 3:40 p.m. today," a Federal Aviation Administration statement read. "Preliminary indication is that two pilots and three passengers were aboard. Local officials will release their names and conditions ... The FAA will investigate and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine probable cause of the accident."
Elizabethton Fire Chief Barry Carrier confirmed that it was Earnhardt, his wife, and daughter that were on board the plane, and that all of them escaped without serious injury. Carrier said the plane got wrapped around a fence at the end of the runway, and slid to a fiery stop.
"The first word to come to my mind is that they were very lucky," Carrier said. "It looks like everything worked in their favor instead of against them."
After the news broke, Earnhardt's sister, Kelley Earnhardt Miller, confirmed that everyone was safe.
“Everyone is safe and has been taken to the hospital for further evaluation,” Miller wrote. “We have no further information at this time. Thank you for your understanding.”
Since then, people have been waiting for Earnhardt himself to speak out. This week, he finally broke his silence and thanked everyone for their support.
“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,” he said in a statement.
“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,” the father of one continued. “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."
It's a near miracle that Earnhardt and his family were unharmed, and I'm sure they know this is the case too.