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Mississippi teen hailed as hero for rescuing officer, 3 girls from river

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Posted at 1:18 PM, Jul 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-07 17:35:09-04

A Mississippi teenager is being hailed a hero for coming to the rescue of three people and a police officer after a car plunged into a river over the Fourth of July weekend.

On Sunday, at around 2:30 a.m., a vehicle with three occupants was driving on Interstate 10 when it plunged into the Pascagoula River, the Moss Point Police Department said in a statement.

Police said the driver followed her GPS and didn't realize she was driving into the water.

The vehicle floated 20 feet from shore and began sinking, but the three girls could get out and onto the car's roof.

ABC News reported that 16-year-old Corion Evans heard the three teenage girls screaming for help, so he ran over, removed his shoes and shirt, and dove into the water.

The department said Officer Garry Mercer arrived on the scene shortly after that and dove into the water to assist in the rescue.

As he was bringing one of the victims ashore, she began to panic, which caused him to go under, and he swallowed water, the department said.

According to the news release, Evans was able to help the officer and the girl to shore.

"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."

Chief Ashley added that everyone was doing well.

On Tuesday, the city gave Evans and Officer Mercer certificates of commendation during its regular meeting.