Teen hero saves driver who crashed into New York Bay

PATCHOGUE, N.Y. — A 17-year-old high school senior in New York is being hailed as a hero, after video shows him leaping into the water off Long Island to rescue a driver who accidentally went into the bay.

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Mia Samolinski, 18, was driving her Subaru SUV in a parking lot adjacent to Patchogue Bay when she accidentally stepped on the gas pedal instead of the break, Suffolk County police said in a news release.

Surveillance video obtained by WCBS shows the car driving off the edge of the dock and splashing into the water. Seconds later, a good Samaritan dove into the water to help Samolinski out of her car.

The good Samaritan was identified as 17-year-old Anthony Zhongor, who said after he heard the splash and saw the driver banging for help, he raced into action.

“That’s what really made me jump in the water, because she was banging on the door trying to break it, kind of got scared. So I just jumped in,” Zhongor told WCBS.

Zhongor told WNBC, “Dying, being stuck is one of my worst fears, so I couldn’t imagine someone going through that right in front of me.”

Samolinski and Zhongor went to the same high school, and live less than a mile away from one another, but had never met prior to the accident, WNYW reported.

Samolinski’s father, Charles, thanked Zhongor for his heroics, telling News12 The Bronx, “While everybody else was looking at their phones and filming it, he jumped in. So I’m here to say he deserves the recognition.”

Zhongor told WNYW that he was recruited by the U.S. Marine Corps and is set to start boot camp training in September.