January 01, 1999 12:00 AM

Stephen King has obtained a macabre souvenir from the accident that left him seriously injured: He bought the minivan that struck him. “I’m going to take a sledgehammer and beat (the hell out of) it!” King told Maine’s Bridgton News. The van’s owner, Bryan Smith, 42, said in an earlier interview that King’s lawyer and two other men paid $1,500 for the 1985 Dodge Caravan that he was driving when he hit the horror author, who was walking along the side of the road. King, 52, joked that since the accident he must wear wide-bottomed skateboard pants to cover a metal device that surrounds his injured leg.

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