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A well-worn cliché states that "fact is stanger than fiction". In one particular episode of King's life however it seems that the two converged to produce something even stranger.

In June 1999, near North Lovell, Maine, the horror writer Stephen King was hit by a van driven by a man named Bryan Smith. King suffered serious multiple injuries, almost losing a leg as a result.

King subsequently bought the van from Smith for $1,500 and had it crushed. He later described Smith in an interview in the New Yorker as resembling "a character out of one of my novels".

As a result of the accident, Smith lost his driver's license and received a suspended sentence. He is said to have become increasingly isolated as time went on.

On September 22 2000, King’s 53rd birthday, Smith was found dead in his mobile home in Freyeburg, Maine. The sheriff's deputy who found the body was the same officer who had arrived first at the scene of the road accident.

Although the results of toxicology reports were still awaited, at the time of the reports quoted here the autopsy on Bryan Smith had failed to find a cause of death.

Both King and Smith had the middle name Edwin.

Fortean Times report culled from Mirror, Telegraph, Int. Herald Tribune, Sunday Mail.