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


Residents came to the rescue of the driver of a vehicle that crashed through the ice of the Rideau River in Ottawa's south end, using kayaks to rescue her from the sinking vehicle.

Emergency crews responded to the incident on the Rideau River in the area of Old Mill Way, near White Horse Park, in Manotick at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Witnesses tell CTV News Ottawa a car driving on the frozen river went through the ice and into the cold water late Sunday afternoon.

A photo showed the driver standing on the vehicle as it sank into the water.

Residents living along the Rideau River came to the rescue of the driver, using a kayak to safely transport them from the hole in the ice to the shore.

Video sent to Newstalk 580 CFRA's The Morning Rush with Bill Carroll shows the driver grabbing onto a kayak, and residents using a rope to bring her to safety.

Zachary King was there when it happened.

"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," he 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."

What hasn't been explained is this image. The driver appears to be taking a picture of herself on the car, just before it's fully submerged and before she's out of danger.

Paramedics say the female driver of the vehicle declined treatment at the scene.

In a statement Sunday evening, Ottawa police said officers responded to the area at approximately 4:30 p.m. to investigate a vehicle that had partially submerged through the ice.

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

"The vehicle is still in the river and could pose as a hazard for curious onlookers venturing out on the ice," said police in a statement.

Video shared with CTV News Ottawa by Sacha Gera showed a yellow vehicle driving on the Rideau River shortly before breaking through the ice.

Sacha Gera said his kids were outside playing when the driver rushed in.

"You don’t expect your kids to have to watch out for cars zipping down on the frozen river," Gera said. "Essentially, the kids were just playing out on the backyard hockey rink. And while they were skating they saw this yellow Subaru kind of zipping down the river and they were caught off by surprise."

The Ottawa Police marine dive team tweeted a vehicle went through the ice in the south end.

"Thankfully no injuries and an amazing job by local residents saving the driver by using a kayak and quick safe thinking," said police.

"Another reminder that 'No Ice Is Safe Ice. Please use extreme caution this winter season." Top Stories

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