A Mississippi high school student is being lauded after he heroically rescued three teenage girls, who plunged their vehicle into the river, and a police officer who was also trying to save the girls.
The accident occurred at the I-10 boat launch on the Pascagoula River in Mississippi in the early hours of Sunday morning, WLOX reported.
Corion Evans, 16, happened to be in the right place at the right time as the vehicle drove straight into the river off the boat launch. The car reportedly trudged through 20 feet of water away from the shore before it started to sink.
Evans, who has been swimming since he was three years old, without hesitation jumped in to rescue the girls.
“I was just like, ‘I can’t let none of these folks die. They need to get out the water’. So, I just started getting them,” Evans told WLOX. “I wasn’t even thinking about nothing else.”
Pascagoula teen saves 3 girls, officer after vehicle sinks in river https://t.co/8tlzqeUp06
— WLOX (@WLOX) July 5, 2022
As Evans was saving the three teens, he noticed that Moss Point Police Officer Gary Mercer — who had also dived in to save the girls — was struggling in the water. The 16-year-old wasted no time and helped Mercer to shore.
All three were taken to the hospital and are expected to recover, and Mercer is reportedly expecting to be back on the force next week.
In a statement provided to WLOX, Moss Point Police Department Chief Brandon Ashley commended Evans for his bravery:
The police department and I commend Mr. Evans’s bravery and selflessness he displayed by risking his own safety to help people in danger. If Mr. Evans had not assisted, it could have possibly turned out tragically instead of all occupants rescued safely.
Cora Watson, one of the girls involved in the accident, wrote on Facebook expressing her gratitude toward him, saying Evans “saved my life right before my last breath. I’m so thankful for him.”
Evan’s mother, Marquita, also praised her son on Facebook, saying that “he went in that water fighting to save those individuals[.] Im so proud of you son for not giving up and saving lives!!”
“[I]t was a lot of swimming. My legs were so tired after.” Evans said, recounting the event. “Anything could’ve been in that water,” alluding to possible alligators in the river. “But I wasn’t thinking about it.”
You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.