Police find family stranded 10 hours in snow, 25 km from highway

A family of four travelling to Ottawa escaped a dangerous situation after their car became stuck on an unplowed road near Thunder Bay, Ont., on New Year's Day.

Provincial police said the family was using a map on a smart phone that directed them from Hwy 11/17 onto Hwy. 527 and then onto Dorion Cut Off Rd.

The road was unplowed, police said, and around noon the family's Toyota Venza ended up stuck.

The family had little cell phone signal, but managed to text their family in Ottawa, who contacted a local tow truck company.

The tow truck was unable to locate the family or the stuck car, so a second tow truck was dispatched.  

Police said the two truck operators walked the area for half an hour, but couldn't find the car.

Around 6:50 p.m., OPP officers were called, and by 9:50 p.m., the family, and the stuck car, were located approximately 25 kilometres from Hwy. 527.

The family was found in good health but police said there would "undoubtedly" have been a very different outcome if they had not been located, as the reported temperature that evening was –25 degrees.

Police would not specify which web-based map service the family was using when they were misdirected.