What appeared to be a marriage proposal happening on an overpass along Interstate 44 turned out to be a prank to solicit honks from drivers.

Glendale resident Jessica Buhrman captured a photo of the moment as she was driving on I-44 in south St. Louis County near The Hill on Sept. 18. Hot air balloons from the Great Forest Park Balloon Race are in the background.

She then posted the photo on social media in hopes of sharing it with the mystery couple. The photo was widely circulated on a variety of social media platforms, as well as in several media outlets including the Webster-Kirkwood Times.

Four days later, she received a Instagram message from the man pictured in the photograph saying the proposal wasn’t actually a proposal.

“My girlfriend and I were visiting family and friends and noticed the balloon race was going on and found the bridge,” he said. “While we were up there we thought it’d be funny if I took a knee to get drivers to honk. We had no idea it’d blow up like it apparently has.”

Buhrman said although she’s disappointed the engagement wasn’t real, she’s still overwhelmed by the community effort to share the photo and find the couple.

“Keep caring and looking out for one another,” she said. “Keep looking for ways to spread joy. And maybe thanks to all of your efforts getting the word out, we will see many engagements on that bridge next year during the 2022 Great Forest Park Balloon Race. It really is a stunning view.”