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LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION: 'Busco students recall deck collapse on TV show

May 14, 2012

Tanya Young, speaks with a Today Show producer while cameraman Reid Riddell shoots video. Churubusco people, in front, left to right, are Tyler Arrowsmith, Haleigh Gross, Chandler Blake, Parker Conrad and Layne Fulk. In the second row are Haley Fulkerson, Logan Caskey, Tanya Young, Tori Hayes, Morgan Young, Emily Hively and Molly Blake. In back are Brett Johnson, Tyler Nevil, Dylan Jones and Zach Adams. — Post & Mail photo / Robin R. Plasterer

CHURUBUSCO — It was their 15 minutes of fame and they will never forget it.
NBC’s The Today Show was in Churubusco early Saturday morning to do a live broadcast of three local teens recalling a now-famous deck collapse right before the school’s prom May 5.
It was a picture perfect day when 12 Churubusco teens were posed on the deck of Greg and Margaret Blake’s deck just north of Churubusco on U.S. 33. The group was waiting for Haleigh Gross to appear.
“Haleigh had just walked under the deck and was about to join the others on the deck when we heard a crack,” said Tanya Young, mother of Morgan Young and videographer of the incident.
“Right as soon as Haleigh turned the corner to join the others (she) heard a crack and the deck collapsed and all 12 fell straight down 10 feet.”
No one was seriously injured in the fall. Teens on the deck were Tyler Nevil, Parker Conrad, Brett Miller, Zack Adams, Tyler Arrowsmith, Layne Fulk, Logan Caskey, Emily Hively, Morgan Young, Tori Harris, Chandler Blake and Haley Fulkerson.
Chris Young posted Tanya’s video to YouTube and The Today Show’s Matt Lauer e-mailed him and set up the interview.
The crew from The Today Show arrived at the Blake’s home at 5 a.m. Saturday. Margaret Blake greeted them and the owner of a fast food restaurant in Churubusco assisted by providing breakfast food and drinks.
The producer of the event was Tammy Sortor.
At 7 a.m. Sortor arranged the students and told them what to do on camera and what not to do.
“Don’t yawn on television. Just smile. If you must yawn do it now,” said Sortor.
Parker Conrad asked Sortor how many people were going to view this.
“Millions live and several millions online later.
A collective “Wow” was heard.
At 7:40 a.m. it happened, all of them were on national television live.
The Today Show’s Lester Holt interviewed Tanya and Morgan Young and Tori Harris.
“I was so nervous,” said Tanya Young. “But Lester was very nice and very professional with all of us.”
Morgan Young recanted the events of prom night.
“The girls just held onto the railing as we fell and the guys held on to us,” said Morgan.
Holt asked Tori when they were all in a heap was there a moment when you realized this just happened and we are all okay.
“Yea, I kept from laughing until I knew no one was hurt,” said Tori Harris.
“But then we all just started to laugh and we realized it was really funny.”
The entire interview lasted three minutes and six seconds but the memory, of both the deck collapse and being on national television, will last forever.
For those who missed the interview go to www.nbc.com.

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