Iconic author Stephen King recalls the horrifying auto accident that almost ended his life exactly 20 years ago today, on June 19, 1999. While King has been a giant of both the literary world and the overall pop culture landscape since the smash success of his first novel, 1974's Carrie, he'll be the first to say that he was by no means an overnight success as a writer. King toiled away in low-paying jobs while trying to make financial ends meet for years before he hit it big, and those beginnings seem to have contributed to just how humble a man he remains to this day.
King genuinely seems to enjoy communicating with his fans, and regularly fires off messages targeted at this "constant readers" via social media. While at age 71, King is now firmly established as a legend in his own time when it comes to writing horror fiction, fans will no doubt remember just how close the world came to losing the author way back in the summer of 1999.
On the afternoon of June 19, 1999, King was out walking near his Maine home, when a distracted driver plowed his minivan into him. King sustained multiple serious injuries, and remained in the hospital for nearly a month. While King pulled through, the severe pain he was left with afterward at one point led the author to announce a retirement from writing. Thankfully, that obviously didn't stick, and King continues to pen new tales of terror. Today on his Twitter account, King took a look back at the traumatic incident, including how doctors considered amputating his leg. Check out his post below.
On June 19th, 1999 I got hit by a van while taking a walk. As I lay unconscious in the hospital, the docs debated amputating my right leg and decided it could stay, on a trial basis. I got better. Every day of the 20 years since has been a gift.— Stephen King (@StephenKing) June 19, 2019
King is clearly very thankful that he survived the accident, and was able to eventually recover physically. It boggles the mind to think of how many King novels and short stories wouldn't exist had that driver - who himself sadly died by suicide a few years later - ended up unintentionally ending the best-selling author's life. Since 1999, King has either written or co-written a whopping 24 novels, with a 25th, The Institute, arriving in September 2019. He's also published four new collections of short stories.
It's safe to say many King devotees don't want to imagine a timeline in which their favorite writer never got to pen such acclaimed works as Under the Dome, 11/22/63, Revival, Mr. Mercedes, and Doctor Sleep, not to mention complete his Dark Tower saga. King also wouldn't have lived to see the current resurgence in Hollywood's appetite for adapting his work, such as the recent adaptations of IT, Pet Sematary, and Gerald's Game. Doctor Sleep and The Stand adaptations are also coming soon, as is IT: Chapter Two. Thankfully, we don't live in the Stephen King-less section of the multiverse.
Source: Stephen King