LONG ISLAND - A 17-year-old on Long Island is being hailed as a hero for saving a woman's life after her car drove into a bay on Long Island on Tuesday evening.
The harrowing moment was caught on surveillance cameras, as a car driven by 18-year-old Mia Samolinski drove right into Patchogue Bay.
On Wednesday afternoon, Mia's father Charles Samolinski visited the dock where it happened to reunite with and thank 17-year-old Anthony Zhongor for saving his daughter’s life.
"The reason I’m here is because he’s really the hero of the day," Samolinski said.
"The idea of dying never crossed my mind," said Zhongor said of his heroics. "I was supposed to be at the beach yesterday but I was here."
Zhongor said he was listening to music at the dock when Mia pulled in just after 10 p.m.
"Her foot slipped off the brake and hit the gas. By the time she could react and get back to the brake, she was in the water," Samolinski said.
Within seconds, Zhongor sprang into action - helping her get out through the back door of the car as bystanders watched.
"The first thing she did was open the door and then when she couldn’t she went to the back," Zhongor said.
Mia managed to make it out unscathed but shaken up and took the day to regroup. The garbage can she ran over - was still in the water a day later.
Mia's father said he is thankful, as the accident could’ve been a lot worse.
"I wasn’t sitting in the ER or morgue," Samolinski said. "She’s here."
The pair who went to the same high school live less than a mile away but never crossed paths until Tuesday night.
Anthony, who told FOX 5 NY that he went to McDonald’s afterward and didn’t tell his family until they saw it on the news, put his quick-thinking skills to the test. He was recruited by the U.S. Marine Corps and is set to start boot camp training in September.
"It shows that our training and mentorship has gone to the right place and I’m happy he acted because it could’ve ended somewhere very differently," said Staff Sgt. Christian Erazo with the U.S. Marine Corps.
In the coming days, Mia’s dad tells us the family plans to reunite with Anthony - this time off camera to say thank you.
"A car can be replaced, my daughter… irreplaceable," Samolinski said.