It's possible the driver may have been extremely embarrassed at his or her predicament, and decided to flee without calling for help.
An SUV ended up exactly where it shouldn't be this morning - belt-high under water - after falling through ice on the Ottawa River. What's even more alarming is that according to an Ottawa Fire Services spokesperson, this kind of incident is happening far too often.
The owner of the property, located at Bayview Drive, approximately an hour west of Gatineau, woke up in the morning to find the SUV - which looks to possibly be a Nissan Pathfinder or Xterra - well over halfway under water. Fearing the worst, they called 911, and numerous emergency responders were sent to the location.
Upon arriving, the SUV was found to be empty, with snowmobile tracks seen nearby. It's possible the driver may have been extremely embarrassed at his or her predicament, and decided to flee without calling for help.
Danielle Cardinal, Public Information Officer with Ottawa Fire Services, says that this is by no means the only time this has happened in the Ottawa area. With warmer March weather on its way, ice will begin melting, but Cardinal points out that with the way currents move in the area, the dangers of falling through ice can happen even during cold snaps.
Ice fishing is popular in the area, and with so many waterways, Cardinal makes it clear there are a lot of ways things can go wrong if a person decides to drive on ice.
Cardinal gives some extremely simple words of wisdom for drivers to follow, and that is: no ice is safe ice. Whether you're piloting a snowmobile, or a 2016 Chevrolet Colorado (a driver of which went through the ice once), it's best to keep the heavy machines off frozen water and keep to roadways.
And if you do manage to find yourself in the uncomfortable position of getting your vehicle stuck in the water, Cardinal says it's best to get to safety and call emergency services as soon as possible. Trying to get unstuck using a friend's car could result in even more vehicles falling through, while fleeing completely - as the driver today did - makes rescues even more difficult, because sometimes, resources that aren't needed are called out, meaning they aren't available where they are required.
As for removing this SUV, the driver's insurance will be charged - meaning higher rates are probably on the way - while more costs will be involved since in this case, the Ministry of the Environment needed to come out to do an investigation.
This isn't the first time something like this has happened in Ontario recently, so here's hoping drivers heed Cardinal's advice - and maybe even use a little common sense - to avoid these mistakes in the future.