Taylor Smith, the girl who gained notoriety on YouTube for pushing her 16-year-old friend off a bridge at popular swimming area near Vancouver, pleaded guilty and subsequently broke down in tears on Wednesday after she was sentenced to two days in jail and 38 days on a county work crew.
The 19-year-old Smith was sentenced by Clark County District Court Judge Darvin Zimmerman, adding that jail time was needed considering the serious injuries suffered by her friend, Jordan Holgerson.
As part of a plea agreement, Smith pleaded guilty to misdemeanor reckless endangerment earlier this month.
The incident happened on August 7, 2018, at Moulton Falls Regional Park in Washington state, northeast of Vancouver. The video was widely viewed on YouTube and showed a hesitant Holgerson at the edge of the bridge moments before Smith pushed her after getting impatient.
Extended footage of the incident also came out that showed one of their male friends saying that Holgerson not needing to jump if she didn’t want to but Smith wasn’t having any of that and a few seconds later pushed the teen off the edge to the shock of everyone.
The 60-foot fall broke Holgerson’s ribs and punctured her lungs as well as causing severe bruising. Doctors who treated her said she was lucky to have survived the fall.
Holgerson said in court that she was still undergoing physical therapy while dealing with the pain, anxiety, and panic attacks.
As she was reading her statement to the judge, she started to cry and an advocate had to take over, saying that the girl was terrified when she was pushed and thought she was going to die once she hit the water.
“We feel lucky today that she is alive,” Genelle Holgerson, the teen’s mother, told the judge, adding that she’d like Smith to get some jail time.
“It has cost me and my family lost wages not to mention stress and heartache.”
For her part, Smith apologized for the pain she caused the Holgerson family.
“I’d like to sincerely apologize to Jordan Holgerson, her family and friends for the pain and humiliation I have caused by my mindless actions that occurred last summer,” a tearful Smith said. “Although it may have seemed like my intent was to harm and like I may have moved on without putting any punishment on myself, this is false. Jordan has passed through my thoughts repetitively since the incident.”
As a deputy cuffed her and led her out of the courtroom, Smith broke down in tears.
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