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Stephen King in serious condition

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) -- Horror author Stephen King was seriously injured when he was struck by a van while walking near his home Saturday, police said.

King was walking south on the shoulder of Route 5 in North Lovell, where he owns a home, at about 4:30 p.m. when a motorist approaching from behind lost control of his Dodge Caravan because of a dog that was loose inside, Oxford County Sheriff's deputy Matt Baker said.Officials at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston said the 51-year-old King was in serious but stable condition. King suffered "significant" injuries including broken bones but was conscious and alert, hospital spokesman Laird Covey said.

King underwent surgery early Sunday morning, according to a nursing supervisor. The supervisor did not reveal what kind of surgery King was having but said it was expected to last several hours. The official added that King's injuries were not considered life threatening.

According to witnesses, the driver, Bryan Smith, 41, did not appear to be speeding, Baker said. He said charges will not be filed against Smith.

Baker, who responded to the accident, said King was lying in a depression about 14 feet off the road and appeared to have been thrown by the collision. The van's windshield was broken and the right front corner of the car was crunched in from the impact of striking him, he said.

"He was hurting, but he was able to communicate," Baker said. "He was talking to me. He gave me phone numbers of where to call his family."

"He was in a lot of pain," he said.

Baker said he could tell King's leg was broken and he was bleeding from a laceration on his head.

Baker said he didn't know where King was going.

"I see him all the time, walking," he said. "It's just like anybody going out for a walk in the evening."

King lives in Bangor, Baker said, but also owns a home in the town of North Lovell, about 115 miles to the southwest.

King has written more than two dozen novels, including "The Shining," "Carrie" and "Pet Sematary." King's "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon" is on several best seller lists this weekend.