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Sunday, June 20, 1999 Published at 22:20 GMT 23:20 UK

World: Americas

Horror writer recovering after accident

Stephen King: author of more than 30 novels

Best-selling American horror author Stephen King is alert and in good spirits after surgery for injuries suffered when he was struck by a camper van while walking along a road.

King was thrown 14 feet when he was hit on Saturday by a Dodge motorhome in rural Lovell, west of Portland, Maine, where he owns a summer home.

The BBC's Vanessa Edwards: "A driver lost control of his motor home"
The 51-year-old remains in a serious but stable condition, and faces additional surgery this week, said Chuck Gill, a spokesman for Central Maine Medical Centre.

His wife, Tabitha, his children and other relatives were by his side when he emerged from Sunday's operation.

"He's been alert and he's in pretty good spirits," Gill said.

King suffered a collapsed lung and multiple fractures of the right leg and hip. He was also treated during surgery for a scalp laceration.

Laird Covey, Vice President of Medical Affairs at Central Maine Medical Centre: "He's been conscious and alert"
Early on Sunday, another hospital spokesman - Laird Covey - said King had been talking with his wife, adding: "I know that he has been cracking some jokes to the staff about his condition."

Police say the incident happened when a motorist approaching from behind lost control of his Dodge because of a dog which was loose inside.

Local Sheriff's deputy Matt Baker, who found King beside the road, said he did not know where King was going.

[ image: Kathy Bates won an Oscar for her part in the film Misery]
Kathy Bates won an Oscar for her part in the film Misery
"I see him all the time, walking," he said. "It's just like anybody going out for a walk in the evening."

King, one of the world's most popular authors, has written more than 30 novels, many of which have been made into films.

His novels include The Shining, Carrie, Pet Sematary and Misery - a story about an author who is seriously injured in a car accident and then imprisoned by a fan.

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