ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. — The plane carrying great Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family bounced, veered off the runway and ended up on a Tennessee state highway during a crash landing, investigators said Friday.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators obtained surveillance video that included footage of the crash. NTSB investigators plan to issue a preliminary report in about a week.

“it’s just the grace of the good Lord that a vehicle didn’t get struck by the plane,” Elizabethton police chief Jason Shaw said during a news conference Thursday.

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

Earnhardt, 44, was taken to a hospital for evaluation. Carter County Sheriff Dexter Lunceford said there were no serious injuries beyond cuts and abrasions.

“We want to reiterate our appreciation to the community, first responders, medical staff, and race fans everywhere for the overwhelming support in the last 24 hours,” JR Motorsports general manager Kelly Earnhardt Miller, the sister of Dale Earnhardt Jr., said in a statement Friday. “Dale, Amy, Isla and our two pilots are doing well.”

The statement said they were assisting the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board with the investigation.

Earnhardt was scheduled to be part of NBC’s broadcast crew for Saturday’s Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway but opted after the crash to take the weekend off to be with his family. His manager told that they were traveling to their North Carolina home by car Thursday night.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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