Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Jerry Jones
Gazette Editor 

The girl who was pushed


August 23, 2018 | View PDF

The wonders of television news programming surfaced again last week with "the girl who was pushed off the bridge."

The episode rocketed to the national news level when a cell phone video showed a young girl hesitating about leaping off a bridge and then being pushed.

Jordan Holgerson, 16, sustained five cracked ribs and a punctured lung when she hit the Lewis River in the Vancouver area, and Taylor Smith, the girl who allegedly pushed her, has been charged in Clark County with reckless endangerment.

The intent here is not to dimish the impact the episode has had on either of the parties involved. One girl was injured and another girl will land in court for pushing her off the bridge.

The point here is that none of this would have "hit the news" without a cell phone video.

Television's voracious need to get pictures scooped up the video and it hit national news.

The episode started with teens gathering at a favorite spot on the bridge over the Lewis River. One of the girls climbed outside the bridge rail and hesitated about making the leap and another girl pushed her and the girl was hurt.

The jumping off situation is one of the common rites of passage during the summer season, and the Lewis River video brought to mind another video of college-age kids making spectacular leaps of Granite Point rock on the Snake River. Those leaps were actually broadcast as a prelude to a report about Granite Point being trashed in a spring outing.

The push video can be expected to become state's evidence if the Smith case actually goes to trial. Reports on the charge against her noted she faces a maximum a $5,000 fine and a year in jail.

Under Wasnington's sentencing standards, she won't get close to the maximums, if convicted.

Television coverage continued with an appearance of the defendant on ABC's Good Morning America. Smith said Holgerson asked to be pushed.

Later follow-up coverage noted Holgerson's family isn't buying Smith's apology.

All this gets reported because somebody took a picture of the push, and it "made" the news.

We wish Holgerson a full recovery, and both girls the best, and we hope the Vancouver area teens be a little more careful when they head for their favorite swimming hole.


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