Dale Earnhardt Jr. breaks silence following plane crash
(FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - Dale Earnhardt Jr. has broken his silence after he and his family were involved in a plane crash last week in Tennessee.
The retired NASCAR driver tweeted out a statement Monday thanking first responders and all those who have reached out in support.
"Amy and I want to thank everyone who has lifted us up with phone calls, messages and prayers 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 discussed the cause of the accident," Earnhardt Jr. tweeted. "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."
Earnhardt Jr., his wife, their daughter, two pilots, and the family dog were on board the Cessna Citation when it rolled off the end of a runway and caught fire after landing at Elizabethton Municipal Airport. Fortunately everyone managed to get out safely. Earnhardt Jr. was taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
The racing great was on his way to Bristol for the weekend's NASCAR races at Bristol Motor Speedway where he was expected to commentate.
"We're incredibly grateful that Dale, his wife Amy, daughter Isla, and the two pilots are safe following today's accident," NBC Sports said in a statement at the time of the crash. "After being discharged from the hospital, we communicated with Dale and his team, and we're all in agreement that he should take this weekend off to be with his family."
The FAA said it will investigate and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine probable cause of the accident.
This isn't the first fiery crash for Earnhardt. He still has a burn scar on his neck from a crash at Sonoma in 2004 during warmups for an American Le Mans Series race that left him with second-degree burns.
Earnhardt has a history of concussions that plagued him over his final years as a driver.
He won NASCAR's most popular driver award a record 15 times with 26 career Cup victories.
This story was reported on from Charlotte, N.C. The Associated Press contributed to this report.