In August of 2018, 16-year-old Jordan Holgerson went to Moulton Falls Regional Park near Vancouver, Washington with a group of friends. Among the group was Taylor Smith, Jordan’s best friend. That fateful day, Taylor, 18, made an impulsive decision that changed Jordan’s life in a split second.
Moulton Falls is a popular tourist destination thanks to its beautiful trails, waterfalls, and most importantly, a gorgeous 60-foot bridge over the East Fork Lewis River. Despite multiple warning signs, many visitors, mostly teenagers, choose to jump off the bridge — just for the thrill of it.
Jordan and her friends decided to jump off the bridge but when it came her time, she became nervous and changed her mind. Despite stating many times that she no longer wanted to, Taylor continuously pressured her to jump and even threatened to push her —a threat Jordan laughed off.
When Taylor started counting down, Jordan told her to stop because she was not going to jump. In a video taken by one of their friends, a male voice can be heard telling Taylor that Jordan does not want to jump.
Irritated, Taylor put both hands on Jordan’s back and abruptly shoved her with force, sending her plummeting 60 feet into the water — chest first.
Miraculously, Jordan survived the fall but she spent an entire year recovering. She suffered multiple broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and several other injuries that sent her to the hospital for three days and left her with post-traumatic stress disorder, insomnia, anxiety, and chronic pain.
“This could have been horrible. she could have died. When you fall three times your height, 50 percent of people will die. But falling onto water from 60 feet in the air, that’s like falling on concrete. She could have broken her neck, she could have been a quadriplegic,” Jordan’s surgeon, MaryClare Sarff told news reporters.
In an interview with ABC News, Taylor stated that Jordan asked her for a push because she was too scared to jump on her own. However, the footage clearly showed that wasn’t the case. Jordan stated she did not want to jump several times and said “no” when Taylor threatened to push her off.
Taylor also stated that she texted Jordan several times to apologize and tried to visit her in the hospital but was asked to leave.
However, Jordan claimed that Taylor lied in her entire interview, fled immediately after pushing her, never dropped by her home to apologize, partied at a state fair that same week, and never visited her in the hospital.
Jordan’s mother, Genelle Holgerson, was rightfully outraged by Taylor’s conduct and demanded that she be charged criminally. A week later, Taylor was charged with reckless endangerment. She pleaded not guilty.
Both prosecutors and the defense agreed to offer Taylor a plea deal — house arrest and community service in exchange for pleading guilty.
Jordan’s loved ones were okay with the plea deal and Taylor accepted, changing her plea to guilty. However, the judge was not in agreeance and stated that Taylor needed to serve some time in jail to truly learn her lesson.
Taylor was ultimately sentenced to 2 days in jail and 38 days of community service. She was also fined and ordered to stay away from Jordan and her family due to a protection order. Genelle later spoke out, claiming Taylor stalked Jordan on multiple occasions and attempted to intimidate her.
Before she was led away in handcuffs, Taylor stated that she never intended to harm anyone, and she finally apologized to Jordan and her family.
Fortunately, Jordan Holgerson made a full recovery, and she seems to be thriving. The 20-year-old lives in Kalama, Washington.