The Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has decided to pursue a charge of reckless endangerment against 18-year-old Taylor Smith for allegedly pushing a friend off the bridge at Moulton Falls Regional Park last week.
Smith is accused of pushing Jordan Holgerson, 16, of Kalama off the bridge Aug. 7 after Holgerson planned to voluntarily jump off but hesitated.
Holgerson was standing on the edge of the bridge when she was pushed and fell more than 50 feet into the East Fork of the Lewis River. Despite her attempt to land toes first, Holgerson belly-flopped into the water. She broke as many as six ribs and punctured both of her lungs in the fall.
The push was captured in a cellphone video, and the 10-second clip quickly circulated on social media. Holgerson’s fall became international news within two days.
During a press conference at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver, where Holgerson was recovering, a trauma surgeon said it may take months for the teen to fully heal.
The information listing the charge against Smith says she engaged “in conduct which did create a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person.”
Reckless endangerment is a gross misdemeanor that generally carries a punishment up to 12 months in jail.
Smith appeared on “Good Morning America” this morning. In the interview, she said she didn’t consider the repercussions beforehand.
On the day of the incident, Holgerson, Smith and several friends drove to Moulton Falls Regional Park. While there, Holgerson watched a friend jump from the bridge and decided she wanted to try it herself, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in support of the reckless endangerment charge.
“Once at the top, Jordan hesitated and began to have second thoughts about jumping. It should be noted that the surface of the bridge is 50 feet above the river,” the affidavit says.
The court document details the fall as seen in the cellphone video, which begins with Holgerson standing on the edge of the bridge.
“While standing on the edge Taylor Smith can be seen reaching over the bridge railing and shoving Jordan Holgerson off of the bridge and into the river,” the affidavit says.
Holgerson reportedly told Clark County sheriff’s deputies in an interview that Smith pushed her, and the push was unwanted.
During Smith’s interview with law enforcement, she admitted to pushing Holgerson but added, “She did so in an attempt to help (Holgerson) overcome her fear and not to injure her,” the affidavit says.