Sunday 2:30 am a car drove off a boat launch and into the Pascagoula River in Moss Point, Mississppi, because the driver was following GPS and didn't realize she was going into the water. The car, with 3 teenage girls inside, floated about 20 feet away from shore and started sinking.
“They drove straight under the water,” 16-year-old Corion Evans told WLOX. “Like, only a little bit of the car was still above the water.”
Corion Evan, 16, said he tossed his shoes, shirt, phone and jumped in.
"I was just like, 'I can't let none of these folks die. They need to get out the water,'" Evans, a Pascagoula High School student, told Biloxi, Mississippi, ABC affiliate WLOX. "So, I just started getting them. I wasn't even thinking about nothing else."
One of Evan's friends,Karon “KJ” Bradley, also jumped in and helped get the girls to the top of their car.
"I was behind them trying to keep them above water and swim with them at the same time," Evans told the station.
Moss Point Police Officer Gary Mercer also responded to the scene and helped in the effort. At one point when Mercer was bringing one of the girls to the shore, she "began panicking and caused him to go under swallowing some water," police said. Mercer started struggling in the water. so Evans helped rescue him too:
"I turned around. I see the police officer. He's drowning. He's going underwater, drowning, saying, 'Help!'" Evans told WLOX. "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."
The officer and 3 teens were taken to the hospital and recovering. Chief Ashley said Officer Mercer is expected to be back on duty later this week.
On Tuesday, Moss Point city officials presented Evans with a certificate of commendation for his heroism is rescuing four people. They also recognized the pollice officer Mercer for his "bravery in the rescue".
Chief Brandon Ashley released this statement to WLOX:
"The police department and I commend Mr. Evans's bravery and selflessness he displayed by risking his own safety to help people in danger," Moss Point Chief Brandon Ashley said in a statement. "If Mr. Evans had not assisted, it could have possibly turned out tragically instead of all occupants rescued safely."
"I'm glad nothing happened to him while he was trying to save other people's lives," Marquita Evans told WLOX. "I was really proud of Corion because he wasn't just thinking about himself. He was trying to really get all those people out the water."
Evans had been swimming since he was about 3 years old and didn't hesitate to jump in the river.
“They was out there throwing up because a lot of water had got inside all of them,” Evans said. “25 yards out, so it was a lot of swimming. My legs were so tired after. Anything could’ve been in that water, though. But I wasn’t thinking about it.”
One of the victims named Cora Watson wrote on Facebook to show her appreciation saying he, “saved my life right before my last breath.”
16-year-old boy hailed as hero after jumping into river to rescue 3 girls, police officer
"I was just like, 'I can't let none of these folks die.'"