A 16-year-old boy was in the right place at the right time when a car drove off a boat ramp into a Mississippi river during the July Fourth weekend.
The vehicle, which had three girls inside, plunged into the Pascagoula River in Moss Point around 2:30 a.m.
It floated away about 20 feet from the shore and began sinking.
“The driver of that vehicle stated she was following her GPS and did not realize she was going into the water,” said the Moss Point Police Department in a statement.
When Corion Evans saw the car sinking, he quickly ran over, took off his shirt, shoes, tossed his phone, and jumped in. He could hear the three occupants calling for help.
Luckily, the high school student is equipped with the right skills to do so. He has been swimming since he was 3 years old, so he didn’t hesitate.
“I was just like, ‘I can’t let none of these folks die. They need to get out the water,’” he told WLOX. “So, I just started getting them. I wasn’t even thinking about nothing else.”
One of Corion’s friends, Karon ″KJ″ Bradley, also jumped in to help get the girls on the roof of the vehicle.
“I was behind them trying to keep them above water and swim with them at the same time,” Corion said.
The brave teen was already in the river when Moss Point Police Officer Gary Mercer arrived at the scene.
At one point, the cop was bringing one person to shore, but she started panicking and caused him to go under swallowing some water.
“I turned around. I see the police officer. He’s drowning. He’s going underwater, drowning, saying, ‘Help!’” Corion recalled.
“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.”
Mercer and the three girls were taken to the hospital following the incident. Thankfully, all four are doing well.
“Twenty-five yards out, so it was a lot of swimming. My legs were so tired after,” he said. “Anything could’ve been in that water, though. But I wasn’t thinking about it.”
Moss Point Chief Brandon Ashley commended Corion for his life-saving efforts.
“The police department and I commend Mr. Evans’s bravery and selflessness he displayed by risking his own safety to help people in danger,” he said in a statement.
“If Mr. Evans had not assisted, it could have possibly turned out tragically instead of all occupants rescued safely.”
Moss Point city officials presented Corion with a certificate of commendation for his heroic deed. In the same event, they also recognized Mercer for his “bravery in the rescue.”
Corion’s mother, Marquita Evans, is relieved that everyone was safe and praised her son for his courage.
“I’m glad nothing happened to him while he was trying to save other people’s lives,” she said.
“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.”
One of the victims, Cora Watson, took to Facebook to laud Corion for his actions.
“This man right here saved my life right before my last breath,” she wrote. “I’m so thankful for him.”