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Dale Earnhardt Jr. slides off road, hits tree in snowy weather

MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. is warning North Carolina drivers not to venture out into a snowstorm after he slid off the road and hit a tree. Earnhardt said on his Twitter account Wednesday that he had just used his winch to help a sedan out of a ditch in snowy weather when he himself drove off the road and into a tree.

"NC stay off the roads today/tonight," he wrote. "5 minutes after helping these folks I center punched a pine tree."

A spokesman for Earnhardt, Mike Davis, said that the recently retired NASCAR driver wasn't injured and his pickup truck had only minor damage, if any. Davis said the people Earnhardt helped weren't injured, either.

Earnhardt's crash happened in Mooresville near where his racing team has its shop and offices.

Snow fell Wednesday in a wide band that stretched from southeastern Texas all the way to western Massachusetts.

Forecasters said up to 4 inches could fall in central North Carolina as the system pushed northward, with a couple inches expected farther east. By early Wednesday morning, a thin white sheen of precipitation had formed on sidewalks and driveways.

CBS Charlotte affiliate WBTV reported Wednesday afternoon that snow showers were expected to continue for the next few hours and that temperatures had been below freezing since 8 a.m.

The station reported a First Alert Day was declared for Thursday due to the likelihood of black ice in the morning.

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