Every day, teenagers are making headlines across this great nation. While some are unfortunately making the headlines because life became too much, others are for crime, and some are still making it for scholastic achievements. It’s not too often we get the stories of someone being a hero.
A hero is exactly what 16-year-old Corion Evans is. Early in the morning on July 3rd, he leaped into a river in Mississippi to save three girls as their car sank, as well as a police officer who had gone in there to help the girls but found himself having a hard time swimming.
According to authorities, the three girls were in a car going along the Interstate 10 boat ramp and ended up in the Pascagoula River where it began to sink. Speaking with WLOX, Evans recounted the tale. “They drove straight under the water. Like, only a little bit of the car was still above the water. I was just like, ‘I can’t let none of these folks die. They need to get out the water.’ So, I just started getting them…I wasn’t even thinking about nothing else.”
Stripping off his shoes, socks, and shirt, and tossing his phone aside, he jumped into the river. He helped get them out and stayed “behind them trying to keep them above water and swim with them at the same time.” His friend Karon “KJ” Bradley was there as well, and he hopped in to help get the girls to the top of their vehicle before departing the river.
That wasn’t enough for Evans, though. “I turned around. 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.” Per his accounts, this happened about 25 yards from shore, so the girls and the officer were throwing up water after getting out safely.
With the girls and the officer being taken to the hospital for treatment, they are all expected to make a full recovery. Moss Point Police Officer Gary Mercer is expected to recover quickly and be back to patrol in less than a week. These kinds of cases don’t always have a happy ending, especially when four people need to be saved.
The kind of selfless care and grit displayed by Evans and Bradley are the kinds of examples we want our kids to see. This is exactly the kind of story we need to hear in our society today. Putting the needs of others above the idea of filming a potentially viral video or doing nothing is incredibly commendable, and something we don’t see enough of in 2022. At a time when people under 25 are more likely to stand by and film instead of getting involved, these two stood up and did something.
Both the Moss Point Police department and one of the rescued girls have issued statements expressing their gratitude for the actions of these young men. Moss Point Police Chief Brandon Ashley told WLOX “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.”
From all accounts, Chief Ashley is underplaying his help. Had Evans and Bradley not been there, the city would likely be singing a different tune.
These two have provided a great example of what right looks like. They chose the hard right over the easy wrong; they saw something wrong and got involved. Not many people can claim that they have or even would do the same. At a time when the nation needs great inspirational stories, along came these two.