Corion Evans is being lauded as a hometown hero.
The 16-year-old Mississippi teen was recently honored for helping save four lives from the Pascagoula River in Moss Point. According to WLOX, Evans was near the river on Sunday when a vehicle carrying three girls drove into the body of water and began to sink. The teen immediately jumped into action, removing his shoes, shirt, and cellphone before diving in and helping the girls get to shore.
“I was just like, ‘I can’t let none of these folks die. They need to get out the water,’” he told the station. “So, I just started getting them. I wasn’t even thinking about nothing else. I was behind them trying to keep them above water and swim with them at the same time.
Evans said he was assisted by his friend Karon “KJ” Bradley as well as Moss Point Police Officer Gary Mercer. At one point during their rescue efforts, Evans saw Mercer begin to struggle in the water.
“I turned around. I see the police officer. He’s drowning. He’s going underwater, drowning, saying, ‘Help!’” the teen recalled. “So, I went over there. I went and I grabbed the police officer and I’m like swimming him back until I feel myself I can walk [...] My legs were so tired after. Anything could’ve been in that water, though. But I wasn’t thinking about it.”
The incident reportedly occurred at around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday at the I-10 boat launch. The driver reportedly told police she was following her GPS and didn’t realize she was headed toward the river until it was too late. Officer Mercer and the three girls were taken to the hospital shortly after and are now recovering.
On Tuesday, Mayor Billy Knight and the Board of Alderman presented Evans and Mercer with Certificates of Commendation.
We commend Mr. Evans’ bravery and selflessness he displayed by risking his own safety to help people in danger,” Moss Point Police Chief Brandon Ashley said in a statement. “If Mr. Evans had not assisted, the situation could have turned out differently, instead of all occupants being rescued safely.”