MOSS POINT, Miss. — A Mississippi teenager is being heralded a hero after springing into action when a vehicle plunged off a boat ramp and into the Pascagoula River during the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Sixteen-year-old Corion Evans, of Pascagoula, not only rescued the three teenage girls in the car but also helped a responding Moss Point Police Department officer get to safety after he began struggling in the water, Magnolia State Live reported.
Evans told WLOX-TV that he was hanging out with friends near the Interstate 10 overpass of the Pascagoula River when he saw the girls drive straight down the boat ramp and into the river.
“Like, only a little bit of the car was still above the water,” Evans told the TV station.
Authorities confirmed to WLOX that the vehicle traveled about 20 feet away from shore before sinking.
One of Evans’ friends, Karon “KJ” Bradley, also jumped in and helped get the girls on top of their vehicle.
“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, adding, “I wasn’t even thinking about nothing else.”
Meanwhile, Moss Point police officer Gary Mercer responded to the scene and swam out to help.
“I turned around. I see the police officer. He’s drowning,” Evans told the TV station. “He’s going underwater, drowning, saying, ‘Help!’ So, I went over there.”
Evans then helped all four victims to shore.
“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,” Moss Point Chief of Police Brandon Ashley said in a prepared statement provided to WLOX.
All four victims are recovering after bing treated at an area hospital following the close call.
Ashley confirmed to the TV station that Mercer is expected to return to duty later this week.
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