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Teen hailed hero after saving police officer, 3 others after car plunges into river in Mississippi

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 7/7/2022 Natalie Neysa Alund, USA TODAY
Corion Evans, 16, helped save three female victims and a police officer after he saw their car drive off the Interstate 10 boat launch into the water on July 3, 2022. © City of Moss Point Corion Evans, 16, helped save three female victims and a police officer after he saw their car drive off the Interstate 10 boat launch into the water on July 3, 2022.

A teenager is being hailed a hero after city officials in Mississippi said he saved three people and a police officer over the holiday weekend after a vehicle plunged into water.

Corion Evans, 16, came to the aid of three female victims after he saw a car drive off the Interstate 10 boat launch into the Pascagoula River, the Moss Point Police Department reported in a news release.

The crash took place about 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, police reported. Moss Point is a small city in Jackson County less than 30 miles east of Biloxi near the Alabama border.

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The vehicle floated about 20 feet, then began to sink, but police said the three occupants managed to get out of the vehicle and onto its roof.

"I was just like: 'I can't let none of these folks die. They need to get out the water,'" the Pascagoula High School student told WLOX. "So, I just started getting them. I wasn't even thinking about nothing else."

The teen also rescued police officer Garry Mercer, who responded to the scene to help. According to the release, Mercer had difficulty swimming after swallowing water after an occupant of the car he was helping to shore began panicking.


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"I turned around. I see the police officer. He's drowning. He's going underwater, drowning, saying, 'Help!'" Evans told the outlet. "So, I went over there. I went and I grabbed the police officer."

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The driver of the vehicle told police she was following her GPS and did not realize she was approaching the water, the release says. 

No injuries were reported.

Moss Point Police Chief Brandon Ashley commended Evans for the "bravery and selflessness he displayed by risking his own safety to help people in danger," he wrote in the release. "If Mr. Evans had not assisted, the situation could have turned out differently."

On Tuesday, the teen and the police officer received certificates of commendation from the city during its regular meeting.

“We are proud of the young man for having the courage to forget about himself and jump into the water,” Mayor Billy Knight said. “It’s not often enough that you see people put others above themselves.”

Contributing: The Associated Press. Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at nalund@usatoday.com and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Teen hailed hero after saving police officer, 3 others after car plunges into river in Mississippi

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