The bridge at Moulton Falls is a popular hangout spot during the summer in Washington state. Many people come to take the 60-foot plunge into the water below, despite a sign warning visitors not to jump or dive from the bridge.
But a video that recently went viral on YouTube shows the dangers of what can happen when the fun goes wrong.
On Tuesday, 16-year-old Jordan Holgerson visited Moulton Falls with some friends. Video shows Holgerson standing on the bridge's ledge in her bathing suit while someone in the background counts down. Holgerson is heard saying "no," but a person pushes her off the ledge, hurtling her flailing into the river below.
"I could have died easily," Holgerson said in an interview with NBC affiliate KGW.
Holgerson said she tried to push herself forward as she fell, "so I could be straight." But "that didn't really work," the teen said. She struck the water chest-first, breaking five ribs and puncturing her lungs.
Holgerson said she couldn't breathe when she hit the water, but was rescued by another swimmer and rushed to a hospital.
Suffering a lot of bruising as well, Holgerson said she is now in "a lot of pain."
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Washington trauma surgeon MaryClare Sarff agreed that Holgerson could have died. When someone falls from a distance three times his or her height, Sarff told KGW, there is a 50 percent chance the person dies. Holgerson's fall was much greater than three times her height.
"This could have been horrible," Sarff said of Holgerson's fall. "She fell into water, which people might say is not that bad because it's water. But when you're falling ... from that height, the water is like concrete."
The video of Holgerson's fall has since been removed from YouTube, and the sheriff's department is investigating the incident. Holgerson said she knows the person who pushed her and that the person has apologized.