In his first public statement since surviving a plane crash last week, NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. said on Monday that his family is “truly blessed that all on board escaped with no serious injuries.”
After Thursday's accident at Elizabethton Municipal Airport in Elizabethton, Tenn., Earnhardt, his wife Amy and their 1-year-old daughter Isla were hospitalized and treated for minor injuries. The site of the crash was about 20 minutes from Johnson City.
Two pilots and the family dog were also on the plane, registered to Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s race team, JR Motorsports.
“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,” Earnhardt wrote on Monday.
He added, “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.”
The 44-year-old also said he appreciated the privacy extended to his family “to process everything.”
“It has been important to do that together and on our own time,” Earnhardt wrote.
The Cessna Citation rolled off at the end of a runway and caught fire after landing, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
Earnhardt, who was scheduled to announce last Saturday night’s NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series Bass Pro Shops/NRA Night Race in Bristol, Tenn., took the weekend off from his NBC Sports broadcasting gig after the crash.
Earnhardt Jr., who retired from racing full-time in 2017, has been a NASCAR analyst for NBC.
The former driver of car No. 88 is expected to return to the broadcast booth Labor Day weekend, when NASCAR's premier series returns to Darlington, S.C. for the Bojangles' Southern 500.
Fox News’ Charles Creitz and Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.