Pascagoula teen saves 3 girls, officer after vehicle sinks in river

Pascagoula Officer Mercer and the three girls were all taken to the hospital. They are now recovering.
Published: Jul. 4, 2022 at 6:42 PM CDT
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MOSS POINT, Miss. (WLOX) - A heroic Pascagoula teenager jumped into action to save four people when a vehicle drove off the I-10 boat launch into the Pascagoula River.

Authorities said the vehicle, which had three teenage girls inside, traveled about 20 feet away from shore before 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.”

Evans said he tossed his shoes, shirt, phone and jumped in. One of his friends, Karon “KJ” Bradley, also jumped in and helped get the girls to the 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,” he said. “I wasn’t even thinking about nothing else.”

16-year-old Corion Evans jumped into the river after he saw a car sinking and four people...
16-year-old Corion Evans jumped into the river after he saw a car sinking and four people struggling to get out of the water.(WLOX)

Evans, a Pascagoula High student, said he’s been swimming since he was about three years old.

Early Sunday morning, he was at the right place at the right time with the right skills.

“I was behind them trying to keep them above water and swim with them at the same time,” he said.

His mother Marquita Evans is now praising her son for his courage and endurance.

“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. “I’m glad nothing happened to him while he was trying to save other people’s lives.”

Evans helped bring the three girls to shore, along with Moss Point Police Officer Gary Mercer, who responded to the scene and swam out to help.

“I turned around. I see the police officer,” Evans said. “He’s drowning. 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 myself I can walk.”

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. If Mr. Evans had not assisted, it could have possibly turned out tragically instead of all occupants rescued safely.”

One of the victims named Cora Watson took to Facebook to show her appreciation saying he, “saved my life right before my last breath.”

“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.”

Officer Mercer and the three girls were all taken to the hospital after the incident. They’re now recovering.

Chief Ashley said Officer Mercer is expected to be back on duty later this week.

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