Stephen King was alert and in good spirits today after surgery for injuries suffered when he was struck by a van while walking along a rural Maine highway.
The prolific best-selling horror author remained in serious but stable condition, and faces additional surgery this week, said Chuck Gill, a spokesman for Central Maine Medical Center.
Officials said King, 51, was thrown 14 feet when he was hit Saturday by a Dodge Caravan in rural Lovell, where he owns a summer home.
Chip Baker, who witnessed the accident, told WCSH-TV in Portland that he rushed to help King.
"He was bleeding and he was laying in a heap and all tangled up," Baker said. "It just happened so quick, you know. I knew he was in kind of rough shape in either his leg or his hip."
Gill said King suffered a collapsed lung and multiple fractures of the right leg and hip. He was also treated during surgery at around 3:30 a.m. for a scalp laceration.
King was conscious and alert after he emerged from the operation. His wife, Tabitha, his children and other relatives were by King's side.
"He's been alert and he's in pretty good spirits," Gill said.
Earlier today, 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."
King was walking south on the shoulder of state Route 5 at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday when a motorist approaching from behind lost control of his vehicle because of a dog that was loose inside, Oxford County Sheriff's deputy Matt Baker said.
According to witnesses, the driver, Bryan Smith, 41, did not appear to be speeding, Baker said. He said no charges will be filed against Smith.
King, who lives in Bangor, may have been on one of his daily long walks at his summer home when he was struck, Covey said. Lovell is about 115 miles southwest of Bangor.
King has written more than two dozen novels, including "The Shining," "Carrie" and "Pet Sematary." His "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon" is on several bestseller lists this weekend.
CAPTION: Stephen King suffered multiple fractures and a collapsed lung.