A Long Island teen is being hailed a hero Wednesday, hours after diving into a local bay to save a young woman whose SUV plunged into it when she accidentally hit the gas pedal instead of the brake the night before, cops say.
Neither Mia Samolinski, the 18-year-old woman behind the wheel of the Subaru Outback that ended up in Patchogue Bay, nor her savior, 17-year-old Anthony Zhongor, was hurt.
According to police, Samolinski stepped on the wrong pedal as she left a South Ocean Avenue parking lot adjacent to the bay shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday. She drove right into the water. Zhongor saw what happened and dove in to save her, police said.
"I heard a huge splash and saw everyone running toward the dock. I don’t know what happened," he said.
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Sinking fast, the teenager was able to open the driver's side door of the Subaru and help Samolinski out, then get her safely to the dock. Neither person, both of whom call Patchogue home, was injured, according to police.
Several people could be seen on surveillance video responding to see what happened, only Zhongor jumped in to actually try and help.
"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.
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The driver's father met with the rescuer Wednesday, and thanked him for his heroic actions.
A heavy-duty wrecker later pulled the car from the bay.