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Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s private plane crashes in Elizabethton, Tennessee




A private jet carrying the former race-car driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family careened off a runway at Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Tennessee Thursday afternoon, bursting into flames as it came to rest on a highway near the runway.

They were able to quickly evacuate the plane, according to Elizabethton Fire Chief Barry Carrier, the local television station WJHL reported. Carrier initially said Earnhardt and his wife, Amy Earnhardt, were aboard the plane — the Carter County Sheriff’s Office later clarified that Earnhardt, his wife, their child Isla, and two pilots were on the plane, along with a family dog.

Preliminary reports indicated that there were no injuries, although the sheriff’s office later said Earnhardt was taken to the hospital for minor injuries, such as “cuts and abrasions,” according to WJHL.

Earnhardt’s sister Kelley tweeted that everyone was okay and being taken to a hospital for evaluation.

The jet was a Cessna Citation model 680, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that it would investigate the crash:

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. Preliminary indication is that two pilots and three passengers were aboard. Local officials will release their names and conditions. The aircraft registration is N8JR, look up the owner at The FAA will investigate and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine probable cause of the accident.

Earnhardt and his company, JR Motorsports, signed a sponsorship deal with Textron Aviation, which makes Cessna and Beechcraft airplanes, in February 2016. As part of the partnership, Earnhardt said he would use a Cessna Citation business jet for travel.

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