ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL)- Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family are OK after a fiery plane crash in Elizabethton Thursday afternoon.
The crash happened at the Elizabethton Municipal Airport on Highway 91.
Emergency officials said Earnhardt Jr. was taken to the Johnson City Medical Center to be treated for minor injuries following that plane crash.
Not long after that crash, in a one-on-one interview with News Channel 11’s Josh Smith, Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford said in part, “a lot of the NASCAR drivers, families, officials come in and out of the airport during all of the races.”
Lunceford added, “…to find out everybody is fine, no serious injuries, no vehicles were hit, this is a very busy roadway, we’re very fortunate and blessed that no one was hurt.”
Late Thursday night NASCAR officials made the announcement over the air that Dale Earnhardt Jr. had been released from the hospital and had visited the track.
Earlier in the evening, NBC PR released a statement that Earnhardt Jr. would not be in the broadcast booth for the Bristol races.
NTSB did confirm through social media they would be sending two investigators to look into the crash.
As crews continue to both investigate and clear the scene, there are detour routes in place as police anticipate Highway 91 will be closed until at least Friday evening.
10:20 PM UPDATE:
TCAT Elizabethton will closed tomorrow due to the plane crash and road closure of SR 91.
According to TCAT Elizabethton President Dean Blevins, this will apply to both campuses of the school.
8:00 PM UPDATE:
School buses will not run from Minton Hollow to the 2nd red light at Hunter Bridge on Friday if State Route 91 remains closed due to today’s plane crash at Elizabethton Municipal Airport according to Dr. Kevin Ward, Superintendent of Carter County Schools.
Ward says they will check to see if the highway has reopened early Friday morning and will let parents know.
TDOT says SR 91 will remain closed through Friday evening at the earliest.
This could affect students at Hunter Elementary, Unaka Elementary, and Unaka High School.
7:15 PM UPDATE:
Elizabethton Police Chief Jason Shaw says State Route 91 will likely remain closed until 7 p.m. Friday following today’s plane crash.
The Elizabethton Police Department shared a map of a detour route.
6:00 PM UPDATE (WJHL):
The National Transportation Safety Board says it is investigating the plane crash at the Elizabethton Municipal Airport that sent retired NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the hospital.
The NTSB says it is sending two investigators to look into the “runway excursion accident.”
5:50 PM UPDATE (WJHL):
A fire marshall on the scene the crash said there were about 1,000 gallons of fuel on the plane and that a significant amount spilled. The leaking has been stopped according to the official.
4:50 PM UPDATE (WJHL):
Retired NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. was taken to the Johnson City Medical Center for minor injuries according to Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford.
Earnhardt’s injuries were described as just cuts and abrasions.
The sheriff said Earnhardt’s wife and child were also on the plane, along with a pilot, one other passenger, and a family dog.
The FAA confirms there were five people on the plane.
4:40 PM UPDATE (WJHL):
Retired NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been transported to a hospital following a plane crash at the Elizabethton Municipal Airport, according to Carter County Sheriff’s Office.
CCSO is unsure of his condition.
The FAA says a Cessna Citation belonging to JRM Air, LLC based in Mooresville, North Carolina rolled off the end of a runway around 3:40 p.m.
Preliminary information indicates that three people on the plane evacuated no injuries were reported to the FAA.
Elizabethton Fire Chief Barry Carrier previously said Earnhardt’s wife was also on the plane.
4:10 PM UPDATE (WJHL):
Elizabethton Fire Chief Barry Carrier says Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his wife were on the plane that crashed at the Elizabethton Airport this afternoon.
They were not injured in the crash according to Carrier.
ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) – Emergency crews are responding to a plane crash at the Elizabethton Airport.
Airport Manager Dan Cogan says a private plane has run off the end of the runway and caught fire. He says all passengers are out of the plane.
Highway 91 at Industrial Drive is closed according to Carter County dispatch.
The sheriff’s office is asking people to avoid the area.