Stephen King Calls Each Day A “Gift” The Twentieth Anniversary Of A Near-Fatal Car Accident!

stephen king car accident

A construction worker named Bryan Smith was driving a Dodge Caravan around 4:30 p.m. on June 19, 1999, when he lost control of the vehicle and hit the beloved horror author walking on the shoulder of the road in North Lovell, Maine. Because of the severity of his injuries, King was taken to both Northern Cumberland Hospital and a helicopter to Central Maine Hospital.

Twenty years after the event, the author tweeted about it.

A van struck King while he was out for a stroll on June 19, 1999, he wrote on Wednesday. The doctors considered amputating my right leg as I lay unconscious in the hospital but ultimately decided to let it stay for observational purposes. Well, things improved and I am doing fine now. The subsequent two decades have been filled with blessings.

Due to the accident, Smith lost his driving privileges and later died from a fentanyl overdose in September of 2000.

I was deeply saddened to learn of Bryan Smith’s passing, King said in a statement after the news of his death became public. A man’s death at the age of 43 can only be described as tragic. The best for anyone, really. Unexpectedly, our paths crossed. For this, I am eternally grateful. I’m very sad about his passing.

The Van That Almost Killed Stephen King Was Bought By Him For Pennies

What are the odds that Stephen King would have penned about a demonic car in Christine if he hadn’t had a personal encounter with one? Probably. To prevent any souvenir-hungry fans from snatching the 1985 Dodge Caravan that hit him, King paid $1,500 to its original owner, Bryan Smith.

The Van That Almost Killed Stephen King Was Bought By Him For Pennies

King’s wife Tabitha dissuaded him from his plan to raise money for charity by allowing people to beat up the van in exchange for a small fee. When the time came, it was torn down in a scrapyard.

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Bryan Smith Died On Stephen King’s Birthday

Bryan Smith’s brother found his body in the trailer they shared on September 21, 2000. According to Sheriff Micron, “He was lying on his back, fully clothed, in his bed. To all appearances,

Bryan Smith Died On Stephen King's Birthday

he had fallen asleep while lying there.” The preliminary autopsy was unable to determine a definitive cause of death. Later investigation revealed that Smith had taken an excessive amount of painkillers, leading to his untimely demise.

Stephen King turned 53 years old on the same day. It was King’s birthday, and perhaps in light of that, he felt remorse and expressed it thus: “Our paths unexpectedly crossed. I thank God that I didn’t perish. It’s a shame that he’s no longer here.”

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Driver Who Hit Stephen King Dies

The town of F R Y E B U R G, Maine Sept. 25, 2000 — Stephen King, whose life was changed when he was hit by a car while out for a walk near his summer home last year, was saddened to hear the news that the driver had passed away over the weekend.

This morning, the author shared his condolences about Bryan Smith’s death through his assistant, Julie Eugley. A man’s death at age 43 can only be described as tragic.

Driver Who Hit Stephen King Dies

Smith, 43, was found dead on Friday in the mobile home he shared with his two dogs on Route 302 in Fryeburg, and according to Capt. James Miclon of the Oxford county sheriff’s Office, there were no signs of trauma or violence at the scene.

The autopsy revealed no signs of trauma, but the medical examiner’s office was unable to determine the exact cause of the death. There are currently toxicology tests being conducted, but the results may take months to come back.

Miclonsaid, “He was taking a number of medications for his health.”

In June of 1999, while driving a van through North Lovell, Smith collided with King, severely injuring him. When he was struck, King was walking along a road near his summer home in the area. His right leg and hip were broken, and he also suffered a punctured lung, a head wound, and broken ribs.

Smith admitted guilt on a charge of reckless driving in January. An aggravated assault charge was dismissed by the prosecution. Smith was given a 6-month jail term with suspension.

According to Smith, he was distracted by his dog at the time his van went off the road and struck King. Although he publicly apologized to King, he continued to insist that the crash had been an accident and that King was not to blame.


Central Maine Medical Center officials said that 51-year-old King was in critical but stable condition. A hospital spokesman, Laird Covey, said that King had sustained “significant” injuries, including broken bones, but that he was awake and alert.

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Karan Siradi

I am an author and a public speaker. I was born in India and have travelled to many different countries. I have a masters in public communication from California University and I love to write about famous peoples from different industries.

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