VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — In a bit of a surprise, the teenager who pushed her friend off a bridge at Moulton Falls in the summer of 2018 was sent to jail at her sentencing Wednesday afternoon.
Tay’lor Smith, 19, was charged with one count of reckless endangerment after the incident. She originally pleaded not guilty in September, however, she was offered a plea deal in February — prompting her to change her plea on March 18.
On Aug. 7, 2018, Jordan Holgerson, 16, was pushed off a bridge, just northeast of Vancouver and fell 60 feet. She suffered injuries ranging from broken ribs to punctured lungs.
The incident was caught on camera — becoming national news. The video posted on YouTube and later removed shows Holgerson standing on the bridge with friends. Then, a woman — later determined to be Smith — forcefully pushes her off.
Smith was not expected to receive any jail time.
But after impact statements were read and Smith herself spoke in court, the judge sentenced her to 40 days — 2 days in jail and 38 days of community service on a work crew.
Though prosecutors didn’t explicitly request jail time, the judge decided in favor of it, citing the seriousness of the crime.
“This is about the most reckless ‘reckless endangerment’ you can conceive,” said Judge Darvin Zimmerman.
Through tears, Smith apologized to Holgerson and her family before being handcuffed and led out of court and taken directly to the jail.
“My words here are sincere,” said Smith in court. “I can’t say I don’t deserve the heat from the media or the loss of old friends, but what I can say — I have tried my best to right my wrongs.”
Holgerson watched quietly as Smith was sentenced. The judge also ordered Smith to not have contact with Holgerson for at least 2 years.
“I think it’s probably just as emotional for her as it was for me,” Holgerson told KOIN 6 News, adding that she “didn’t really watch” as her former friend was led away in handcuffs.
Holgerson’s broken ribs have healed, as well as her collapsed lung, but she said she was still going to therapy for her injured shoulder. Anxiety attacks also still plagued Holgerson but she said she was playing softball and getting her life back on track.
Her mom said she was content with the sentencing and “happy that it’s over.”