A teenager who pushed her friend from a 60 foot bridge in Washington appeared before Clark County Court on Tuesday, (December 4).
18-year-old Taylor Smith faces a charge of reckless endangerment, which she has pled not guilty to. A gross misdemeanour, this charge could land Smith a one year prison sentence and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Smith has accepted a trial start date of February 11, 2019, and has waived her right to a speedy trial; allowing her legal team to carry on a negotiation process with the prosecution.
According to reports, Smith has admitted to pushing 16-year-old Jordan Holgerson from Moulton Falls Bridge on August 7, but claims she did this to help her conquer her fear and did not intend to hurt her.
Footage of the push was captured on a smartphone which initially went viral before being removed from social media. It was also captured on surveillance camera and shows Smith shoving Holgerson from the bridge into the body of water.
Holgerson had reportedly not been ready to jump from the bridge – which was the equivalent height of a three-storey building – but Smith pushed her anyway.
In the footage, Holgerson can be heard repeatedly asking ‘stop’ and ‘wait’, while Smith can be heard saying:
Just go you promised you would do it. Taylor, I’m going to push you.
I don’t care. I’d jump in there to save you if anything happens. Jordan, I got you.
Holgerson suffered serious injuries after bellyflopping on the water below, including six broken ribs, air bubbles in her chest, and a punctured lung.
One person had to swim out to rescue Holgerson, before she was taken to the nearby PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center.
Jordan Holgerson, 16 Suffered Five Broken Ribs & a Lung Injury After She Was Pushed Off the Moulton Falls Bridge on the Lewis River Outside Vancouver…
by One of Her Friends!
— ~Marietta️ (@MariettaPosts) August 10, 2018
Holgerson was present in the courtroom during the hearing of her former friend, and is reportedly now ‘looking for justice’.
Speaking with ABC News Holgerson stated she wanted to see Smith punished:
I’m just looking for justice. I hope this is over soon. … She’s making this a difficult trial.
I hope that she learns something. She said that she was going to take full responsibility. … All that she’s been doing is lying. … I just don’t think she really even cares.
Smith had previously told Good Morning America:
She wanted to jump and she was scared and she had asked me to give her a push, and I didn’t think about the consequences. I thought she would be fine.
She added how she will ‘accept whatever the prosecutor gives me’:
I never intended to hurt her ever, nor would I intend to hurt anyone. I’m really sorry it turned out that way. I just pray that she heals and gets better.
I accept whatever the prosecutors think is best for me, considering I caused not only bodily harm but emotional trauma as well. But I just hope for the best.
Jordan Holgerson, who was pushed off the bridge, said outside the courtroom that she has run into Smith in public and it’s making life hard. Holgerson wants “justice,” but she’s not sure what that looks like specifically. pic.twitter.com/DYm4aD9YoR
— Jerzy Shedlock (@jerzyms) December 4, 2018
Jordan Holgerson is here with her Mom who tried to confront Smith’s Mom in the hallway — asking her if she saw the video (presumably the bridge video)? It’s all very tense and sad. Jordan is now crying. #LiveOnK2
— Jackie Labrecque (@JackieKATU) December 4, 2018
The trial will begin February 11, 2019.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.