Dale Earnhardt, Jr., has broken his public silence for the first time since he and his family survived a fiery plane crash.

The NASCAR racer and analyst, his wife Amy and their 15-month-old daughter Isla were among the five people who were on board a private Cessna when it crash-landed at Elizabethton Municipal Airport in eastern Tennessee at around 3:40PM ET on Thursday (Aug. 15). Two crew members were also on board, along with the family's dog. A video of the crash shows the aircraft crashing through a fence and onto what seems to be a public roadway. The tape then shows all of the passengers emerging safely from the jet before it is engulfed in flames.

Earnhardt turned to Twitter on Monday (Aug. 19) to share his first public statement since then, writing as follows:

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 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."

The 44-year-old and his family were en route to Bristol Motor Speedway, where Earnhardt was slated to serve as an analyst for NBC Sports, when the accident took place. The network issued a statement explaining that it had agreed Earnhardt should take the weekend off to be with his family.

An FAA investigation is ongoing, and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause of the accident.

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