16-year-old honored for saving 3 girls, police officer from drowning
Corian Evans jumped in to help after an officer went under water while bringing one girl to shore
By Warren Kulo
MOSS POINT, Miss. — A 16-year-old Pascagoula resident is being hailed as a hero for his actions in helping save three teenage girls and a Moss Point police officer after a vehicle went into the Pascagoula River early Sunday morning.
According to Moss Point Police Chief Brandon Ashley, a vehicle went into the river at the Interstate 10 boat launch around 2:30 a.m. The driver would later say she was following her GPS navigation and didn’t realize she was headed into the river.
After the vehicle went into the water, it floated about 20 feet away from shore and began to sink. The three girls were able to climb out of the vehicle and onto the roof.
Moss Point police officer Garry Mercer arrived at the scene and, after removing his police gear, began swimming out to the victims. As he was bringing one of the girls to shore, she began to panic, causing Mercer to go under and swallow water.
Mercer was ultimately able to get the girl to the edge of the shoreline, where 16-year-old Corion Evans, a member of the Pascagoula High football team, was waiting to help both the girl and Mercer out of the water. Evans would assist Mercer in bringing the other two girls to shore.
“We commend Mr. Evans’ bravery and selflessness he displayed by risking his own safety to help people in danger,” Ashley said. “If Mr. Evans had not assisted, the situation could have turned out differently, instead of all occupants being rescued safely.”
Ashley said Mercer and the three girls are all “doing well” after the incident. One of the girls, Cora Watson, posted a photo of Evans to her Facebook page, writing “this man right here saved my life right before my last breath. I’m so thankful.”
Tuesday night, Moss Point Mayor Billy Knight presented both Evans and Mercer with Certificates of Commendation on behalf of the City of Moss Point.