The year is 1990. The time is 4 a.m. The place: Princeton. I am jolted awake by ambulances with sirens screaming, police cars, a trauma helicopter chop-chopping overhead. I live near the train station. I peer through the window at a cluster of flashing lights converging in the snowy night.
Not until the next day did I find out what had happened. A group of college sophomores, after partying all night, decided to fool around. They climbed on top of the little train, the Dinky, which shuttles people into Princeton from main line, about five minutes from campus. The student who was first to get on top of the train was wearing a metal watch on his left wrist. Eleven thousand volts of electric current surged through the watch into his body. Eleven thousand volts! That number I never forgot. Now he was dying.