Teen Says Friend Asked to Be Pushed Off 60-Foot Bridge

Taylor Smith charged with one count of reckless endangerment Friday
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2018 5:30 AM CDT

A single push could land Taylor Smith in jail for up to a year. That and a $5,000 fine are the maximum penalty the 18-year-old faces if convicted of the single count of reckless endangerment she was charged with Friday. Smith pushed friend Jordan Holgerson off a 60-foot bridge over the Lewis River near Vancouver, Washington, Aug. 7 in an incident that was captured on cellphone video and grabbed national headlines. Holgerson belly-flopped on the water below and sustained "significant injuries" including broken ribs and punctured lungs. Court documents allege Smith "engaged in conduct which created a substantial risk of death and resulted in serious physical injury." ABC News reports the documents state that Holgerson told officials she did not want to be pushed. Smith told ABC News otherwise.

"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," Smith said. Holgerson has said she went up on the bridge because she thought she wanted to jump, then changed her mind when she saw how high it was. "I thought she would be fine," added Smith. New video obtained by NBC News shows Smith repeatedly pressing Holgerson to jump; at one point, Smith says "I'm going to push you," and Holgerson replies, "no." People who jump typically enter the water feet-first, and Holgerson's surgeon tells KGW, "When you fall three times your height, 50 percent of people will die." Smith has apologized both privately and publicly, but says Holgerson is no longer speaking with her and that she was asked to leave the hospital after trying to visit her. Holgerson has said she thinks Smith should "sit in jail."
(More Washington state stories.)

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