She Hit the Wrong Pedal, but a Teen Saved Her Life

Anthony Zhongor, 17, rescued Mia Samolinski, 18, from Long Island's Patchogue Bay
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2022 10:20 AM CDT
Teen Rescues Woman Who Accidentally Drove Into Bay
A screenshot from a YouTube video about the rescue.   (YouTube/NBC New York)

A scary moment led to a heroic one this week at Long Island's Patchogue Bay. A 17-year-old named Anthony Zhongor rescued 18-year-old Mia Samolinski after she hit the gas instead of the brake on her SUV and plunged into the bay from a parking lot, reports NBC News. The plunge was captured on video. Suffolk County police say Samolinski hit the wrong pedal about 10pm Tuesday as she was leaving the parking lot, startling bystanders. One was Zhongor, who alone dove into the water. “Dying, being stuck is one of my worst fears, so I couldn’t imagine someone going through that right in front of me,” he said. As Zhongor explained to WABC, the rescue wasn't a simple one.

"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," he recalls. When he got to the car, however, he couldn't get the front door open. "My weight made the nose of the car go deeper into the water, which helped the back get free," he said. "And ... we opened the back up, and she was able to escape through the back." The teens both attend Patchogue Medford High School, but they hadn't met until the rescue. (More uplifting news stories.)

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