UPDATE: Teen who pushed friend off bridge speaks out as prosecutors consider charges
Taylor Smith, 18, tells NBC News she has apologized and 'feels really bad' for pushing friend Jordan Holgerson off a 60-foot span over a river in Washington state earlier this month.
UPDATE: Washington state authorities have identified the young woman who pushed a teenage friend off a bridge, sending her plunging into a river 60 feet below, and are contemplating whether to file charges.
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that 18-year-old Taylor Smith has been cooperating with investigators, who have finished their probe and forwarded the case to the county prosecutor’s office for potential charges.
Police said Smith pushed 16-year-old Jordan Holgerson off a bridge at Moulton Falls Regional Park on Aug. 7. The younger teen plunged more than three stories before belly-flopping into the river below, a fall that resulted in six broken ribs, two punctured lungs and multiple internal injuries and cuts. The girl also has a mass behind her windpipe.
Smith, who would not go on camera, told NBC News in a text that she has apologized repeatedly to Holgerson and “feels really bad about what happened.”
She also said she has kept away from home because she has been receiving threats.
The entire incident was captured in a chilling video clip that ricocheted across the internet. It has since been removed from social media.
“I could've died, easily,” Holgerson she said in an interview from the hospital days after the incident.
Trauma surgeon MaryClare Sarff said when a fall is three times a person’s height, there’s a 50 percent chance of death. Holgerson’s drop was far greater.
"When you're falling that high, from that height, the water is like concrete," Sarff said.
Holgerson said she received a single apology, via text, by Smith.
She’s now at home recovering, but continues to have a hard time breathing, she said. Doctors said it may take months to fully heal.
PREVIOUS STORY: A Southwest Washington teen is recovering in the hospital after a friend pushed her off a bridge near Moulton Falls.
“I could’ve died,” said Jordan Holgerson.
The Clark County Sheriff's Office is conducting a criminal investigation.
On Tuesday, Holgerson and a bunch of friends climbed up to the bridge that spans the Lewis River near Moulton Falls. Holgerson had plans to jump but then had second thoughts. That's when a friend came up from behind and pushed her. It was caught on video and went viral. The video was later removed from YouTube.
“In midair, I think I might’ve blacked out,” Holgerson said. “I was awake and aware when I hit the water.”
The 16-year-old could very well have drowned. She said someone swam out to rescue her after which she was rushed to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver.
“I have five broken ribs, air bubbles in my chest and I have a punctured lung,” she said.
Holgerson's doctors said she was lucky she wasn't bleeding internally. She can't do anything active for weeks and says she won't be able to play any fall sports.
It's not uncommon for thrill seekers to jump off the bridge into the water below. A push is a different story.
“This could have been horrible she could have died,” said Holgerson's surgeon MaryClare Sarff.
Sarff says the impact from the water could have been deadly itself, let alone the nearby rocks.
“When you fall three times your height, 50 percent of people will die,” said Sarff.
Holgerson says her friend has since apologized but she said sorry doesn't cut it. Holgerson said she would be choosing her friends "more carefully" from now on.
“It could’ve ended a lot worse,” Holgerson said. "If you're up that high, just make sure you know what you're doing."