Mississippi teen recounts saving 4 people from drowning Mississippi News


Michael Goldberg, Associated Press/Report for America


JACKSON, Miss (AP) – When Corion Evans saw three people at a party, the 16-year-old didn’t imagine he’d save their lives after a few hours. But that’s what happened in the early hours of Sunday when a car sped out of a dinghy down the southern Mississippi river.

The Mississippi High School student jumped into the Pascagoula River at about 2:30 a.m. that morning after seeing the car sink into the water from the boat ramp under Interstate 10. Three young women he saw at a nearby party Saturday were in the car. . They all went to a gathering spot near the boat ramp after the party was over.

Run down towards the water as fast as you can.

“I just saw the car in the water, and then I saw them in the water saying ‘help me,'” Evans said. “So I just took off my shirt, took off my shoes and threw my phone and jumped in the water.”

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Undeterred by the dark water, Evans headed straight for the river. He later learned that the crocodile and his animal live in the river.

“I was scared, but I just focused on keeping everyone calm,” he said. He went on to rescue the three women in the car and a police officer responded to the scene.

The driver said she was tracking her GPS and didn’t realize she was heading to the water’s edge, according to a Moss Point Police Department press release on Wednesday.

“There are no lights here or nothing, so it was all black,” Cora Watson, 19, told WLOX-TV. “The GPS thought we were on top of the highway. That’s why he was telling us to move on because he didn’t say it was water here or nothing.”

WLOX-TV reported that the three young women emerged from the passenger window. At least one of them managed to climb onto the roof of the car. While another was struggling to stomp on the water, she managed to raise one hand in the air and call the police.

Moss Point Police Officer Gary Mercer was dispatched to the scene and said Evans was already in the water when he arrived. Mercer said he jumped into the river and started helping a teenage girl who said she couldn’t swim. After Mercer tried to carry the girl on his back, she panicked and caused him to drown underwater.

“He was trying to come back but he kept swallowing water,” Evans said. He was trying to catch his breath but told her: I can’t, I can’t. That’s when I swam to them.”

Then Evans helped Mercer and the woman get to shore. He attributes his physical strength to playing high school football and his swimming experience. He said he learned to swim when he was 3 years old in his grandmother’s pool.

“Had Mr. Evans not provided assistance, the situation could have turned out differently, rather than having all passengers safely rescued,” said Moss Point Police Chief Brandon Ashley.

On Tuesday, Mayor Moss Point and City Council Evans gave testimony of praise for his actions.

“We are proud of the young man who had the courage to forget himself and jump into the water,” Mayor Billy Knight told The Associated Press. “It’s often not enough to see people put others above themselves.”

Young women gave Evans a gift basket complete with bags of “life saver” candy.

Evans, who will be a final year student at Pascagoula High School in the fall, would like to study physical therapy or sports medicine in college. She started a GoFundMe page to help pay for tuition, which he calls a “blessing.”

“I wasn’t supposed to be there,” Evans said. “When I ran in that water I should have already gone. I feel so lucky for what I did that night.”

Michael Goldberg is a member of the Associated Press/Reporting for America’s Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that puts journalists in local newsrooms to report confidential issues. Follow him on Twitter at

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