‘We are truly blessed’: Dale Earnhardt Jr. releases statement following plane crash

Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Monday released a statement following last week’s plane crash in Tennessee.

The statement says, “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. 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. 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.”

On Friday, investigators said the plane carrying the NASCAR great and his family bounced multiple times during a crash landing and veered off the runway before ending up on a Tennessee highway last Thursday.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Ralph Hicks said the Cessna Citation Latitude had left Statesville, North Carolina, about 20 minutes before the crash at 3:40 p.m. Earnhardt was with wife Amy, 15-month-old daughter Isla, two pilots and a dog.

Federal Aviation Administration officials had said the plane caught fire after landing. Hicks said everyone aboard was able to evacuate through aircraft doors.

Earnhardt retired as a full-time racer in 2017. He was to have been part of NBC’s broadcast team for Saturday night’s Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. He took the weekend off to be with his family.

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