Promo Photo Disaster Pier Collapses During Prom Pictures

Posing for prom pictures in front of parents and friends has become a ritual for high school students, but a group of Wisconsin teens got more than they bargained for when the pier they were standing on collapsed and they fell into the lake.

“One of my friend’s was screaming and on the verge of tears and the other was laughing,” said one of them, Sydney Rogers.

A dozen students from Kettle Moraine High School were gathered at a friend’s lake house on Lac La Belle in Oconomowoc, Wisc., on Saturday afternoon, to take photos before the junior prom, ABC News affiliate WISN first reported. After a day of primping – manicures, pedicures, and hair appointments – the girls and their dates packed onto a wooden pier for a photo op. 

“We were all trying to squeeze on one part of the pier…and we were trying to get more people on,” Rogers said. “All of a sudden I was standing in the water. We landed on our feet, but it went from posing for a picture to standing in the water, just like that.”

Smiles gave way to screams – from teens and parents alike -- as the wooden pier collapsed and the teens fell in.

“It was akin to [watching] a car accident,” said mother Kathy McCormack, who was taking photos of her daughter Anne, a junior who was in the group shot. “You heard the screams coming off the dock and it was like they were falling one after the other in slow motion into the lake.”

Anne McCormack’s boyfriend Ryan Skrove managed to hold on to her and pull her onto an adjacent pier, stopping her from falling into the water below.

“My boyfriend saved me,” she said. “[I’m] very lucky. I couldn’t even tell you how he knew to grab me. We tipped for a second, [but] we were safe on the extra pier.  …We looked at everyone in awe.”

Parents ran over to help, and the mother who was hosting the event jumped into the lake to make sure everyone was all right.

“It was chaotic for sure,” Rogers said. “My mom was the most upset. She had a look of absolute horror on her face and she was gripping another mom’s arm and she was screaming.”

The teens laughed it off and quickly moved into clean-up mode, whipping out a sewing kit and hair dryers to dry their dresses. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured – just a few scrapes here and there -- and none of the dresses were stained.

“We were all pretty lucky. … We’ve been laughing ever since it happened,” said Rogers, who posted the photo mishap as her cover photo on Facebook where it has gotten hundreds of shares and likes. “None of us were too upset because it was too funny.”

The group went on to the prom, where talk about the lake mishap preceded them, but had a fun-filled junior prom night.

“No tears, no drama,” McCormack said. It was “just a memorable, fantastic night.”