As Jordan Holgerson stood on the ledge of a 60-foot high bridge, she seemed to be deliberating whether to jump or not. However, before she could decide for herself, she appeared to be pushed by a friend. And now her family are demanding justice.
Holgerson comes from Kalama in Washington, and in August 2018 she and some friends made the trip to the nearby Moulton Falls Regional Park in Clark County. The 387-acre beauty spot is a favored day trip destination for locals and tourists alike.
With its extensive walking trails, flowing rivers and beautiful woodland, the park should have provided the perfect excursion for Holgerson and her buddies. Little did they know, however, that their day out in nature would end in disaster.
One of the most popular sites in Moulton Falls Regional Park is the 60-foot arch bridge that spans the Lewis River. The structure is particularly popular among thrill-seekers who like to use it as a platform from which to leap into the waters below.
Doing so is not without its risks, though. In fact, a sign by the bridge warns visitors that diving is prohibited. An entry on the Clark County government website, meanwhile, urges would-be swimmers to be mindful of the river’s powerful currents.
However, despite the dangers that jumping from the bridge poses, when Holgerson visited the structure that fateful summer day, she did consider leaping from it. She even got so far as climbing out onto the ledge of the bridge, in fact. Then, however, the 16-year-old was seemingly beset with second thoughts.
As Holgerson considered her next move, one of her friends filmed her deliberations. In the footage, the teen says, “No, I won’t go in,” as her friends count down to her descent. But while it appears that Holgerson refuses to jump, the decision is then seemingly made for her.
You see, while the teen stands nervously on the ledge, explaining her doubts, a male onlooker asks, “Ready?” However, before Holgerson has time to answer, the video appears to show a female shoving the 16-year-old firmly in the back, sending Holgerson plummeting towards the water.
And as Holgerson falls, panic takes over. Her arms and legs flail all over the place, as she plunges into the river. She hits the water with a huge splash, accompanied by an orchestra of gasps from shocked onlookers, one of whom comments, “Oh, that’s so f*****.”
In fact, Holgerson hit the water with such tremendous force that she was unable to swim to safety or even breathe. As a result, it was left to friends and strangers alike to try to retrieve her from the river, before rushing to find help.
Recalling her ordeal, Holgerson told KPTV in August 2018, “In the air, I was trying to push myself forward so I could be straight up and down so that my feet hit first, but that didn’t really work. In the air, I think I might have fainted, but when I hit the water, I was definitely awake and aware.”
The teenager suffered terrible injuries in the fall, but her prognosis could have been much worse. “I have five broken ribs, there are air bubbles in my chest,” Holgerson later revealed from her hospital bed. And she added, “I could have died, easily.”
According to Dr. MaryClare Sarff, who treated Holgerson when she arrived by ambulance at the PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver, WA, people who fall from 25 feet have a 50 percent chance of survival. And Holgerson fell from more than twice that height.
Dr. Sarff explained, “When you’re falling from that height the water is like concrete. She’s really lucky that she wasn’t very injured, considering. If she had fallen a different way, she could have broken her neck, she could be a quadriplegic.”
Still, given the extent of Holgerson’s injuries, doctors predicted it could take weeks for her to recover. For Holgerson’s mother, Genelle Holgerson, this meant taking time off work to be by her daughter’s side. And it also meant an extensive medical bill from the hospital.
Understandably, then, Holgerson’s mom was pretty annoyed at the person who had appeared to push her daughter off the bridge in the first place. “I’m very upset with her,” she told Thoroughbred Daily News in August 2018. “She is an adult, and I’m sure she should have known better.”
And there could be consequences for the supposed shover. Indeed, following the incident on the bridge, the Clark County sheriff’s office launched an investigation into the circumstances around Holgerson’s fall. And what’s more, a statement has since revealed that sheriffs have filed their report. The case, then, is now in the hands of the local prosecutor and is awaiting “appropriate charging.”
But with the case still in the hands of legal officials, Holgerson’s mom believes that the women who allegedly pushed her daughter off the bridge should hand herself in. Holgerson’s aunt, meanwhile, revealed that her niece had no plans to seek “revenge” on her so-called friend.
In an interview with the Daily Mail in August 2018, Kristie Morgan said, “Jordan is truly the sweetest girl in the world. It doesn’t matter what someone does to her she always has someone’s best interest at heart. She doesn’t wish to seek revenge on her friend.”
Morgan herself had a different view on things, however. “In my opinion, her friend needs to learn a lesson,” she said. “She could have killed her, and it wouldn’t be a question at all if she was in trouble for her actions. She would be in jail right now, but that is how Jordan feels.”