Bryan Edwin Smith (b. 16 July 1957; d. 21 Sept 2000) was the driver of a van that hit Stephen King on 19 June 1999.
He was brought before a grand jury and was indicted on two counts: driving to endanger and aggravated assault. He said that he had been distracted by his dog, which at the time of the accident was loose in the vehicle. He pleaded guilty to driving to endanger, the lesser charge, was sentenced to six months' imprisonment (sentence suspended), and had his driver's license suspended for a year since he had nearly a dozen previous infractions on record. In an interview with Dateline NBC on November 1, 1999, King had commented: "There isn't really anything that he's got that I want except his license. Unfortunately that's a paper that's very hard to get away from anybody in any state."
On King's 53rd birthday – 21 September 2000 – Smith was discovered dead in his trailer in Brownfield, Maine. The cause of Smith's death was listed as an accidental overdose of the painkiller fentanyl, according to toxicology reports. Smith had suffered from a back injury and might have been prescribed the painkiller not long before his death. King publicly responded, stating: "I was very sorry to hear of the passing of Bryan Smith. The death of a 43-year-old man can only be termed untimely." During a 2001 interview with Bryant Gumbel on CBS' The Early Show, King noted that, besides dying on his birthday, Smith shared King's middle name.