18-year-old who pushed friend off 60ft bridge is charged, speaks out on the incident
On August 7, Taylor Smith, 18, pushed Jordan Holgerson, 16, off a 60ft bridge in Washington state. Jordan plummeted the equivalent of three stories, and since she didn't hit the water feet-first, the impact was like striking concrete. The teenager suffered signifiant injuries, including six broken ribs, a punctured lung and air bubbles in her chest. "If she fell a different way she could have broken her neck, become paralyzed," said Jordan's mother, Genelle. "She could have died."
Videos of the terrifying incident went viral on social media. Having climbed over the bridge's railing, Jordan put herself in a dangerous position. However, she clearly had second thoughts about jumping. Before the shove, she says, "No, I won't go in." Earlier today, new footage emerged, revealing that Jordan repeatedly expressed doubts about taking the leap. Despite her hesitation, Taylor allegedly continues to goad her. "Just go, you promised you would do it. I'm going to push you. Stop talking!"
Initially, Jordan said she didn't want to press charges, but she changed her mind, possibly because it will take months to recover from her painful injuries. Yesterday she told the media she wanted Taylor to "sit in jail" and think about what she did. Reportedly Taylor apologized, but a family friend told The Sun, "Taylor hasn't been to visit Jordan to see if she is okay. She clearly doesn't care."
In an exclusive interview with Good Morning America, Taylor told her side of the story for the first time. "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," said Taylor. "I thought she would be fine."
Taylor confirmed she "apologized several times," and claims she tried to visit Jordan in the hospital, but "was asked to leave." She claims they were "pretty close" friends for years, and now Jordan has stopped communicating with her. "I love that girl," said Taylor. "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."
Today authorities charged Taylor with one count of reckless endangerment, which has a punishment of up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $5,000. The charge comes with a declaration of probable cause. The arresting officer states, "it is clear that Taylor Smith engaged in conduct which created a substantial risk of death and resulted in serious physical injury to Jordan Holgerson."
Taylor admitted to pushing Jordan off the bridge, but claims she was trying to help her friend overcome her fear, not injure her. On GMA, she said the idea of facing charges is "scary" but she will accept whatever authorities decide. "I accept whatever the prosecutors think is best for me, considering I caused not only bodily harm but emotional trauma as well," said Taylor. "But I just hope for the best."