Bryan Smith is a resident of Maine who hit Stephen King with his van on June 19, 1999. Coincidentally, he shares his middle name (Edwin) with Stephen King.
In Real Life
Thanks to the Stephen King Wiki for this section
After hitting King, 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 birthday (September 21, 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."
As A Character
Bryan Smith is portrayed even more reckless in The Dark Tower, and also depicted as particularly stupid. King even compares him to Sheemie, a character with mental disabilities. Smith is an unwitting servant of the Crimson King as he is distracted by his dog who is attempting to eat the hamburger meat in his cooler. At the time of the accident, Smith is also high, on his way to get some candy bars. Smith hits and kills Jake Chambers who pushes Stephen King out of the way at the last minute.