NASCAR team owner Rick Hendrick and his wife Linda escaped serious injury after a technical failure caused the jet they were flying in to run off the runway when landing at Key West, Fla.
According to a report from the local sheriff, the Gulfstream 150 jet crash landed at the Key West airport Monday evening at 7:45 p.m. with the pilot and co-pilot radioing there were no brakes upon landing. The report states that four people on board were taken to Lower Keys hospital, two with minor injuries and two transported for precautionary reasons.
A statement from Hendrick Motorsports confirmed that there were no serious injuries to either Mr. or Mrs. Hendrick, or to the two pilots. However, USA Today reports that Hendrick suffered a broken rib and a broken clavicle in the incident.
The plane, carrying Jimmie Johnson's number and initials, was registered to Jimmie Johnson Racing II, Inc. and ran completely off the runway before coming to rest in an unpaved safety area that had been added to the airport last May. An airport spokesman told the Miami Herald that "the outcome would have been different and probably catastrophic" without the addition of the safety area.
Johnson told USA Today he was "beyond thankful everything turned out well and there weren't major injuries." He spoke Tuesday morning with Rick Hendrick and said the team owner was "trying to get some rest. I know he's OK. It was nice to hear his voice and Linda is OK."
Seven years ago, on Oct. 24, 2004, a Hendrick Motorsports plane crashed upon landing at Martinsville, killing all 10 passengers including the team's president John Hendrick and Rick Hendrick's son and former NASCAR racer Ricky.