Harrowing crash scene photos released in final report on plane carrying Dale Earnhardt Jr.


Federal authorities recently released their final report on the August 2019 crash of a small plane that was carrying former NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family.

The report by the NTSB included a series of images from the crash scene in Elizabethton, Tennessee, which showed the charred husk of the small aircraft after its dramatic crash landing.

The report cited pilot error as the cause of the Aug. 15, 2019 crash, apparently because the plane was flying at too great a speed to land safely, and because the brakes were deployed improperly.

The plane made a hard landing amid cloudy conditions, investigators found, bouncing several times on the ground and losing several parts in the process, before partially skidding off the runway and coming to a rest after crashing into a chain-link fence.

The aircraft came to a rest there and later burst into flames -- after Earnhardt, his wife and daughter, their family pet dog, and the two pilots safely evacuated.

Miraculously, all souls on board reportedly escaped the harrowing wreck without serious injury, with Earnhardt saying at the time the had suffered only some minor back soreness.

Photos show the singed plane debris strewn haphazardly on the runway, underscoring the dramatic scene.

Earnhardt, a second-generation racing legend, is semi-retired, and also works as a NASCAR analyst for NBC Sports. His father, the legendary racer Dale Earnhardt, tragically perished in a fatal wreck at the Daytona 500 in February 2001.

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