King's sorrow over death of crash driver

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The Independent US

The writer Stephen King expressed his sorrow yesterday over the death on Friday of the man whose van struck and severely injured him in the United States last year.

The writer Stephen King expressed his sorrow yesterday over the death on Friday of the man whose van struck and severely injured him in the United States last year.

Bryan Smith, 43, was found dead at his home in Fryeburg, Maine. A post-mortem examination was scheduled to take place yesterday but it was not known when the results would be announced.

"I was very sorry to hear of the passing of Bryan Smith," Mr King, 53, said in a statement. "The death of a 43-year-old man can only be termed untimely."

There was no sign of violence or trauma when Mr Smith's body was found, Capt James Miclon of the Oxford County Sheriff's Office said. "He was on a variety of medications for his health."

Mr Smith struck and seriously injured Mr King while driving a van in North Lovell in June 1999. Mr King, who was walking along the road, suffered broken bones in his right leg and hip, broken ribs, a punctured lung and a head injury.

Mr Smith pleaded guilty in January to a charge of driving to endanger. He said he had been distracted by his dog. Prosecutors dropped a charge of aggravated assault. He received a six-month suspended jail sentence. At the time Mr King chided prosecutors for making a deal that did not include serving time in jail and did not permanently revoke Mr Smith's licence. ( AP)

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