Moss Point, MS – A heroic 16-year-old boy saved the lives of three teenage girls and a Moss Point police officer after the car the girls were traveling in plunged into the Pascagoula River.
Investigators said the car launched off the Interstate 10 boat launch in the early-morning hours of July 3 and traveled approximately 20 feet off shore before it quickly began sinking beneath the water, WLOX reported.
Corion Evans, 16, said he witnessed the incident and that he knew he had to act fast.
“They drove straight under the water,” Evans told WLOX. “Like, only a little bit of the car was still above the water.”
The teen tossed his phone aside and tore off his shoes and shirt, then jumped into the river.
The Pascagoula High School student said he has been swimming since he was approximately three years old.
“I was just like, ‘I can’t let none of these folks die. They need to get out the water,’” Evans told WLOX. “So, I just started getting them. I wasn’t even thinking about nothing else.”
The teen said he tried to keep himself and two of the girls above the water while simultaneously swimming back to safety with them.
He was ultimately able to rescue all three, as well as a struggling Moss Point police officer who jumped in the water to help, WLOX reported.
“I turned around [and] I see the police officer – he’s drowning,” Evans said. “He’s going underwater, drowning, saying, ‘Help!’ So, I went over there. I went and I grabbed the police officer and I’m like swimming him back until I feel…I can walk.”
Evans said the three girls had ingested a substantial amount of water during the ordeal.
“They was out there throwing up because a lot of water had got inside all of them,” Evans told WLOX.
The officer and the three teens were all transported to the hospital and are recovering.
Evans said he was hit with exhaustion after the rescue.
“Twenty-five yards out, so it was a lot of swimming. My legs were so tired after,” he told WLOX. “Anything could’ve been in that water, though. But I wasn’t thinking about it.”
Moss Point Police Chief Brandon Ashley released a statement praising the teen for his heroic and swift actions, WLOX reported.
“The police department and I commend Mr. Evans’s bravery and selflessness he displayed by risking his own safety to help people in danger,” Chief Ashley wrote. “If Mr. Evans had not assisted, it could have possibly turned out tragically instead of all occupants rescued safely.”
Evan’s mother, Marquita Evans, told WLOX that she is thankful nothing happened to her son while he was “trying to save other people’s lives.”
“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,” she said.