Man Who Hit Stephen King Found Dead

September 24, 2000 -- The story of the driver who severely injured Stephen King last year has taken an even more bizarre twist.

Over the weekend, Bryan Edwin Smith was found dead in his home in Fryeburg, Maine, the Associated Press reports.

Authorities say that no one had seen or spoken with the 43-year-old for about three days when Smith's brother requested that police check on him. On Friday night, police entered Smith's mobile home and found him dead in his bed, according to the AP.

An autopsy will be scheduled, but there was no sign of violence or foul play, said Capt. James Miclon, who found Smith.

"He was on a variety of medications for his health," Miclon told the press Saturday. Miclon did not name specific medications, but Smith had earlier admitted to taking Prozac and Valium, while insisting they did not impair his ability to drive.

In January, Smith pled guilty to a misdemeanor driving-to-endanger charge in the June 1999 accident that left King with broken bones and ribs, a punctured lung, and a skull laceration.

Smith told police that he had accidentally swerved into King while trying to contain his dog, who was loose in Smith's van.

Smith's plea deal included a six-month suspended jail sentence and a driver's license suspension, instead of the maximum 10-year jail sentence he could have received. The Maine resident had previously been convicted on a number of other driving infractions.

King, who underwent a lengthy rehabilitation after the accident, was understandably furious that a driver with such a spotty driving record was still on the road. The best-selling horror author reportedly purchased Smith's van and planned to destroy the vehicle that had nearly killed him.