Who is Anthony Zhongor? 17-yr-old dives into Long Island bay, saves classmate who had driven into water

Who is Anthony Zhongor? 17-yr-old dives into Long Island bay, saves classmate who had driven into water
Anthony Zhongor, 17, jumped into the water after his 18-year-old classmate accidentally drove her car into the Long Island Bay (Facebook/Recruiting Station New York Marines)

A 17-year-old boy jumped into a Long Island bay to save an 18-year-old classmate who had driven into the water on Tuesday, June 14, and is being hailed as a hero. The incident took place at around 10 pm at Patchogue Bay, off South Ocean Avenue, in Patchogue.

According to a news release from Suffolk County Police, Anthony Zhongor dived into the water when Mia Samolinski tripped on the gas pedal instead of the brake and drove into the bay. According to the announcement, Zhongor was able to open one of the car doors and pull Samolinski out, bringing her safely to the pier. According to authorities, both teens were unharmed. "She went pretty deep in there," Zhongor informed ABC-7. "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."

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According to ABC-7, the teenagers were unable to open the door. Zhongor decided to use his own weight to push the car's front end further into the water and raise the rear end out. "My weight made the nose of the car go deeper into the water, which helped the back get free," he told the outlet. "And we opened the back up, and she was able to escape through the back." He further said, "She just came up to me and said, 'Oh my God, thank you' and was crying." They swam to the shore together.

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Zhongor will begin Bootcamp training for the United States Marine Corps in September after graduating from high school next week, according to ABC-7. Both Zhongor and Samolinski attend Patchogue Medford High School but they were unaware that they were classmates until it was revealed after the incident. A powerful wrecker was used to remove the vehicle from the harbor.

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Mia's father, Charles Samolinski, described the rescue as a "miracle." "He jumped out of his car and jumped in, and because of that, my daughter is alive and not really harmed," he told ABC-7.  "It's a miracle."

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