Earnhardt Jr. Plane crashes in Elizabethton Tennessee

This plane was carrying Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family when it left the runway, shown on right, at Elizabethton Airport in Elizabethton, Tennessee on Thursday, August 15, 2019. The passenger were taken to a local hospital is no major injuries and the area remained closed due to burning jet fuel.

UPDATE: Kelley Earnhardt Miller, general manager of JR Motorsports, issued the following statement regarding the crash of the jet on which the Earnhardt family was traveling.

"“Dale, Amy and Isla along with his two pilots were involved in a crash in Bristol, Tenn. this afternoon. 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.”

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UPDATE: Both the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are aware of the crash off a runway in Elizabethton today of a jet carrying Dale Earnhardt Jr.

According to the FAA, the jet was a Cessna Citation that rolled off Runway 24 and caught fire.

The FAA will investigate and the NTSB will determine the probable cause of the crash, according to the FAA.

An NTSB team will head to Elizabethton, according to spokesman Peter Knudson. 

Knudson said the aircraft suffered significant structural damage. 

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UPDATE: There were five people on board the jet, carrying Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family, that crashed off the end of a runway in Elizabethton this afternoon.

In addition to Earnhardt, his wife, Amy, his daughter, Isla, the pilot and co-pilot were on board, according to Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford.

The reason for the crash hasn't been confirmed, but the sheriff said it appears to have been a mechanical issue. 

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ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. -- All passengers on a jet carrying former NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his wife that ran off the end of the runway at the Elizabethton airport this afternoon appear to have made it out alive, according to the Carter County Sheriff's Office.

Earnhardt, 44, was taken to a nearby hospital and the extent of his injuries and condition aren't known at this hour, according to Thomas Gray with the Carter County Sheriff's Office.

First-responders were alerted to the crash at about 3:38 p.m., Gray said.

The Carter County Sheriff's Office, Elizabethton Police Department, Elizabethton Fire Department, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and Carter County Rescue Squad responded immediately.

Gray said he didn't know how many others were on board.

Dale Jr. plane crash map

This screenshot of the TDOT Smartway Map shows both lanes of Highway 91 in Elizabethon are closed following a plane crash. 

Wreckage of the plane, which is in flames with heavy smoke visible, can be seen in front of the airport on Highway 91.

Highway 91 is closed around the airport. 

Earnhardt's sister tweeted, "I can confirm Dale, Amy & Isla along with his two pilots were involved in a crash in Bristol TN this afternoon. 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."

Earnhardt may have been traveling to Bristol for the races this weekend.

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