(NBC News) — Federal investigators continued to comb a field Thursday just off of a runway in Elizabethton, Tennessee.
Crews were searching for evidence after a private plane carrying Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his family crashed after a hard landing Wednesday.
“It’s more incredible when you look at the scene and see what could’ve happened that didn’t happen,” says crash witness Mel Covard.
Even veteran first responders says it’s hard to imagine anyone walking away from the crash.
“Under the circumstances, we are extremely blessed and fortunate,” says Dexter Lunceford of the Carter County Sheriff’s Department.
Earnhardt, Jr., his wife Amy, their 1-year-old daughter Isla, two pilots and the family dog escaped the crash after the plane skidded off the runway. None were seriously injured.
“We’re going to be looking at the systems in great detail, and also going through the information provided by the pilots, and also the information that’s on the recorders,” says NTSB Senior Investigator Ralph Hicks.
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