After a car plunged into a river, a teen was honored for rescuing three victims and a police officer.

According to the Moss Point Police Department, Corion Evans, 16, leapt into action early Sunday morning after observing a car plunge into the Pascagoula River…

Four individuals were rescued from a river by a teenager from Mississippi over the Fourth of July holiday.

According to a news release received by PEOPLE from the Moss Point Police Department, 16-year-old Corion Evans assisted in the rescue of three female victims after witnessing their vehicle tumble into the Pascagoula River around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday.,.

Officer Garry Mercer had difficulties swimming after swallowing water during the rescue, and the adolescent assisted in his rescue.

In a press release, Moss Point Police Chief Brandon Ashley praised Evans for his “courage and altruism” in risking his own safety to save others in peril.

“Had Mr. Evans not intervened,” he stated on Wednesday, “the outcome may have been different, rather than all people being evacuated safely.”

The agency reported that the driver stated she was following GPS directions prior to the collision.

Evans told WLOX that the vehicle “drove straight under the water” and that when he began the rescue, “just a small portion of the car was remained above the water.”

“I thought, “I can’t allow any of these people die. They must get out of the water!’ “A student from Pascagoula High School explained. “So, I’ve recently begun receiving them. I was preoccupied with nothing else.”

Evans stated that his friend Karon “KJ” Bradley assisted in placing the victims on top of the truck as he attempted to “keep the victims above water and swim with them simultaneously.”

Later, Evans also observed Mercer struggling in the water.

“I spun around. I observe the cop. He is currently drowning “He reminisced to WLOX. “He is submerging, drowning, and yelling ‘Help!'”

“Therefore, I went there,” Evans continued. “I went and grabbed the police officer, and I plan to swim him back until I can walk again.”

Mercer claimed he ingested water while attempting to pull a frightened victim to land, according to the MPPD. Eventually, Evans was able to rescue both victims from the river.

However, returning the victims to shore was not a straightforward operation. Evans reported to WLOX that the truck was 25 yards from the shore and that several of the wounded were vomiting water.

“After, my legs were so exhausted,” he added. “However, anything may have been in that water. But I was not considering it.”

According to WLOX, Mercer and the three victims were brought to a local hospital following the incident. All parties are currently “doing well,” Ashley stated in a news release issued on Wednesday.

Mayor Billy Knight and the Board of Aldermen presented Certificates of Commendation to Evans and Mercer at the city’s regularly scheduled board meeting on Tuesday.

Evans was also praised on social media, notably in a post by Cora Watson, one of the victims he saved.

“This man saved my life just before my final breath,” Watson said on Facebook on July 4th. I am extremely grateful for him.

Evans’ mother, Marquita Evans, too praised her son’s efforts.

“My hero,” she posted beside a photo of her child on Facebook on Sunday. “Last night, my son saved four lives while sacrificing his own life…

I am extremely proud of you, son, for not giving up and for saving lives.”

Evans’ mother told WLOX that she is “very proud” that her son “wasn’t just thinking about himself” on Sunday morning.

She stated, “He was attempting to bring all those individuals out of the water.” “I’m relieved that nothing bad occurred to him when he was attempting to save others’ lives.”

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