A driver takes a selfie while standing on a car after it falls through the ice of the Rideau River and a record-breaking snowstorm brings Ottawa to a standstill.

CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at the top five stories on our website this week.

Neighbours use kayak to rescue driver after car crashes through ice in Manotick, Ont.

A yellow car speeding across the ice of the Rideau River in Manotick, Ont. last weekend hit a weak spot and plunged into the water, prompting a massive rescue operation by neighbours to save the driver.

Emergency crews responded to the incident on the Rideau River in the area of Old Mill Way, near White Horse Park, at approximately 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Witnesses reported the car was speeding at nearly 120 km/h at one point.

The incident got widespread attention after the car's driver took a selfie while standing on the submerged vehicle.

"So luckily one of my other neighbours, Rob Crober, had a rope that he had got, so he ran back to his place to grab one of his kayaks off his kayak rack. And I was untangling the rope, he got back, we tied the rope to the kayak and then just got it out to here," Zachary King told CTV News Ottawa.

"It’s like everything worked out perfectly. Got her on the kayak, pulled her in. And as soon as we pulled her in, the car went under. Fully."

Police say the driver has been charged with one count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle under the Criminal Code of Canada.

On Friday, police removed the vehicle from the frozen river.

Rideau River

Ottawa boy, 8, saves man nearly buried in snow

Two eight-year-old Ottawa boys were called heroes this week for their quick actions to help a stranger and their family.

On Monday, paramedics thanked Clayton McGuire for saving an elderly man who was almost completely buried in snow during the blizzard.  Clayton had spotted the man near his home and immediately told his parents, who called 911.

"The gentleman was almost all covered due to the huge snowfall when Clayton spotted him," the paramedic service said.

"A man, I saw him on the floor. Went to get my mom and dad straight away," Clayton told CTV News Ottawa, describing the scene. 

Clayton's dad Joey McGuire said he checked on the man as soon as he was outside.

"I asked the man if he was okay. He seemed like he was hurt; he couldn’t get up, he couldn’t walk, he had no strength at all," McGuire explained. "Looked like he had been down there for at least 20 minutes, maybe longer, because he was totally covered in snow."

The man was assessed at the scene but ultimately decided not to go to the hospital, according to paramedics.

Meantime, a Stittsville family is crediting their eight-year-old son for alerting them to a fire at a neighbour's home, giving them time to escape before the flames spread to their home.

Whitney and Sean Toogood say their son Mason came into their room, saying he couldn't get back to sleep and smelled something funny.

When Sean Toogood investigated, he discovered the fire next door. The family of four and their cats escaped before the fire spread.

"At the end of the day, my son was awake and he's a hero through all this," said Toogood.


Record snowfall as Ottawa sees close to 50 cm during major blizzard

The city of Ottawa spent most of the week digging out after a record-breaking snowstorm hit the capital.

Environment Canada reported 48 cm of snow fell on Monday, closing schools, vaccination clinics and COVID-19 testing sites and disrupting air and vehicle travel.

The city warned it would take two days to clear all residential streets following the storm, and crews began moving snow piles off streets over the weekend.

Mayor Jim Watson said the cleanup would cost up to $5 million.

Ottawa received another 5 cm on Wednesday.

Ottawa snow plow

Fire Marshal wraps up on-site investigation into Merivale Road explosion

The Office of the Fire Marshal, Ottawa police and other agencies continued their investigation this week into the deadly explosion at an Ottawa tanker truck manufacturing facility.

Six people were killed in the explosion at Eastway Tank on Merivale Road on Jan. 13.  One person died in hospital following the explosion, while the remains of five people were located at the site.

On Friday, the Office of the Fire Marshal said its on-site investigation had wrapped up and the investigative team had cleared the scene.

There is no timeline for the investigations to be completed.

"Our investigation process is very thorough, and the thoroughness of our process means it takes time," said deputy fire marshal Tim Beckett last Sunday.

Family members have identified five people as victims of the tragedy: Kayla Ferguson, Rick Bastien, Danny Beale, Etienne Mabiala, and Russ McLellan.

Eastway Tank

Supply chain issues leaving some grocery shelves in Ottawa and eastern Ontario empty

Empty shelves at the grocery store greeted some shoppers in Ottawa and eastern Ontario this week.

Gordon Dean has spent the last 25 years in the grocery business. He’s the owner of Mike Dean Local Grocer with four stores in the Ottawa Valley.

He says he’s never seen anything like this.  

"It’s not horrible. But it’s not great," says Dean. "Nobody’s going to go hungry. Nobody’s going to run out of food in communities. But the variety is definitely limited. The product coming in the door is definitely delayed."

Officials say a shortage of truckers, mandatory vaccination requirements for truckers at the Canada-U.S. border and short-staffed stores are leading to the empty shelves.

Empty store shelves