A teenager in Mississippi has been praised as a hero for saving the lives of three girls – and a responding police officer – after a car plunged into a river near Pascagoula in the southern US state.
Corion Evans, 16, told local TV station WLOX that he saw the car with three teenage girls inside enter the river after it accidentally drove off the end of a boat launch.
“They drove straight under the water. Like, only a little bit of the car was still above the water,” he told the station.
Evans and a friend then jumped into the river themselves and helped the girls out of the sunken car and on to its roof. “I was just like, ‘I can’t let none of these folks die. They need to get out the water,’” he said.
A local police officer, Gary Mercer, also swam out to help the stricken girls but then got in trouble himself. So Evans saved him, too. “I see the police officer. 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,” Evans said.
The local police chief, Brandon Ashley, released a statement. “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,” he said.