Woman who pushed 16-year-old friend off a 60ft bridge pleads guilty
Last August, a video of a woman pushing her teenage friend off a bridge near Vancouver went viral after it transpired that the girl had suffered severe injuries from the incident.
Taylor Smith, 19, was charged with misdemeanour reckless endangerment, for which she could have potentially faced up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine. However, she elected to take a plea bargain, and prosecutors are recommending that she serve no jail time.
Jordan Holgerson, the 16-year-old victim, suffered broken ribs and punctured lungs as a result.
Originally, Smith had claimed that Holgerson wanted to be pushed. This defence fell apart when video evidence came to light, as Smith can be heard saying: "Just go you promised you would do it. Taylor, I'm going to push you," and later: "I don't care. I'd jump in there to save you if anything happens. Jordan, I got you."
Shortly afterwards, Smith - who was 18 at the time of the incident - appeared on Good Morning America to explain herself.
"She wanted to jump and she was scared and she asked me to give her a push, I didn't think about the consequences," she said.
"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."
Holgerson, meanwhile, said she thought Smith should face jail for what she did.
"Now that I've thought about it more, I'm kind of wanting her to sit in jail and think about at least what she did," the 16-year-old said last year. However, she also added that, "some days I think that [punishment] might be a little too harsh."
"I had five broken ribs, and we just found out I have another broken rib, and I had two punctured lungs," she explained. "I'm in a lot of pain. In the mornings it's the worst. It hurts to breathe, my side hurts, my shoulder hurts, I can't even get up."
Holgerson fell 60 feet from the bridge, and experts have said that it would have felt like landing on concrete given the speed that she was travelling at.
Text messages from the day of the incident show that Smith was asked "did she jump or was she pushed?", and she replied: "I was there but didn't see what fully happened."
In the months since then, the teen has made a promising recovery, and says she's even been able to play softball. Still, she suffers from "anxiety attacks" as a result of the push, and says that she just wants the whole ordeal to be dealt with and put behind her now. "I just want it to be done," she said.
Smith will be sentenced on March 27th.