17-year-old Anthony Zhongor is being hailed as a hero for rescuing 18-year-old Mia Samolinski after she accidentally drove her Subaru Outback into a Long Island bay late Tuesday night.

Anthony Zhongor, was on the dock listening to his favorite music when he spotted a teen girl accidentally driving her car into the water. Mia stepped on the gas pedal instead of the brakes and drive into Patchogue Bay. Anthony Zhongor saw the incident and dove into the water without hesitating.

(WATCH the ABC7 video for this story below.)

Mia went “pretty deep in there.” Zhongor swam to the car and he saw Mia trying to break the window by banging on it. With no time to spare, Zhongor had to figure out a way to get Mia out of the car. They both tried to open the door, but they had to find another way.

“She went pretty deep in there,” Zhongor said. “She was banging on the door, banging on the window, trying to break the window, of course, and that kind of got me nervous, scared for her, so I just took my clothes off and went into the water.”

“The dive was pretty far because it was right there, as soon as I looked up, grabbed the door handle,” he said.

That’s when Zhongor realized he could use his own body weight to get her out of the vehicle.

He said, “My body weight made the nose of the car go deeper into the water, which helped the back get free,” he said. “And and we opened the back up, and she was able to escape through the back.” After that, they both swam to shore together.

“She just came up to me and said, ‘Oh my God, thank you and was crying,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who it was, they were suffering. I couldn’t watch anybody suffer in front of me.”

 17-year-old Teen hero saves drowning young woman from a sinking car
Anthony Zhongor

“The idea of dying never crossed my mind,” Zhongor told Fox 5, New York. “I was supposed to be at the beach yesterday but I was here.”

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

READ: Bartender hailed as a hero for saving the lives of tourists washed out to sea by a rogue wave 


Mia and Zhongor, both of Patchogue, were not injured. Interestingly, they both attend Patchogue Medford High School, but they had no idea they were classmates.

Mia’s father Charles met with Anthony Zhongor Wednesday and thanked him for saving his daughter.

“He jumped out of his car and jumped in, and because of that, my daughter is alive and not really harmed,” he said. “It’s a miracle.”

“I wasn’t sitting in the ER or morgue,” said Charles Samolinski. “She’s here. A car can be replaced, my daughter… irreplaceable.”

Later, a heavy-duty wrecker pulled the car from the water.

Zhongor, who recently joined the Marines will head to boot camp in South Carolina in September.


Source : ABC7 news