Woman who shoved her friend off a 60ft bridge receives two day jail sentence
Last August, a video of a woman pushing her teenage friend off a bridge went viral after it transpired that the girl had suffered severe injuries from the incident.
Jordan Holgerson, 16, was left with six broken ribs, punctured lungs, and air bubbles in her chest after Taylor Smith (who was 18 at the time) pushed her from the Moulton Falls Bridge in Washington state. Experts said that Holgerson hitting the water would have had a similar impact to landing on concrete, and that she could have died as a result.
Last week, Smith, now 19, pleaded guilty to charges of misdemeanour reckless endangerment. Now, she's been sentenced for her actions, and is due to serve to two days in jail and 38 days on a county work crew.
During the sentencing yesterday, Holgerson explained that she is still undergoing physical therapy for her injuries, and has suffered from long-term pain and panic attacks as a result of the incident. The trauma she experienced from the push is still so great that she could not bear to read out a statement to the court, and an advocate had to finish it for her.
"We feel lucky today that she is alive," said Genelle Holgerson, the teen's mother, who went on to say that she felt Smith should face jail time equivalent to the amount of time that her daughter spent in a hospital bed. "It has cost me and my family lost wages not to mention stress and heartache," she explained.
In response, Smith apologised to her friend, and said that she would do her best to atone for her mistakes.
"Taylor is not a mean person. She has a big heart," Smith's grandmother, Debbie McEldowney, told ABC News. "She's talked endlessly about Jordan and how bad she felt as she went to the hospital right after the incident and Genelle kicked her out."
McEldowney went on to say that her granddaughter had been painted as a malicious person, but really she just made a mistake.
"We all do really stupid things and it was a bad and unfortunate decision," she said. "She'll be fine. I just wish that all the lies hadn't happened and then they made her look like a monster ... I'm not saying Taylor doesn't deserve some kind of consequence of her action, but not lies. And there were so many lies in that courtroom."
"She wanted to jump and she was scared and she asked me to give her a push, I didn't think about the consequences," Smith had originally argued in her defence.
"I've apologized several times, but I haven't been able to see her in person. I went to the hospital. I got asked to leave, I wasn't allowed to see her. I never intended to hurt her, ever. I'm really sorry it turned out that way. I just pray she heals."
When she was handed her sentence, she burst into tears - though, in relative terms, she got off rather lightly. According to the maximum possible punishment for her crime, she could have potentially faced up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine.