SURRY — A blind man walking along Toddy Pond Road – also known as Route 176 – in the Hancock County town of Surry was struck and killed by an SUV early Tuesday.

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement that said the driver of the Ford Expedition, 27-year-old Robert Elliott of Surry, told police his vision was blocked by the rising sun – the accident was reported at 6:50 a.m. – and that he did not see 54-year-old James Miekka walking along the road with his guide dog.

The guide dog was uninjured. The cause of the crash is under investigation. Elliot, who remained at the scene and tried to help Miekka, has not been charged.

Miekka, a summer resident of Surry, is a well-known marksman and stock market investor who in 1995 developed a highly technical formula for predicting stock market crashes called “The Hindenburg Omen.”

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Miekka named his theory after the 1937 disaster of the German passenger airship Hindenburg, which crashed and burned.

He attracted a cult like following in 2010 when a cluster of Hindenburg Omens took place over several weeks. It became the subject of talk shows, trading floors and news articles, but the complete market meltdown Miekka forecast never came to fruition, the Wall Street journal reported.

A former physics teacher, Miekka lost his eyesight in 1986 after an experiment involving chemicals went awry and there was an explosion. He was blinded by complications from an eye operation to repair the damage.

He went on to create an artificial vision technology that used sounds to helped him identify targets better than many sighted shooters, the Wall Street Journal reported.

– Staff Report