12/27/2012 11:46 EST | Updated 12/28/2012 05:04 EST

Highway Of Tears: Hitchhiker Jumps Out Of Moving Van

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Description 1 Hagwilget Canyon Bridge | Source | Author Owen Lloyd | Date 2010-07-09 | Permission | other_versions Licensing: cc-by-sa-3.0 | ...

RCMP in northwestern B.C. are looking into a frightening experience by a female hitchhiker, who had to jump from a moving minivan because she feared for her safety.

On Christmas Eve, the woman was hitchhiking in the Kispiox area, north of Hazelton, when she was picked up by a man driving a red minivan, said RCMP in a news release on Thursday.

After some brief conversation with the driver, she became "very uncomfortable" and asked that he stop the vehicle, said Prince George RCMP. The man ignored her request and kept driving in the opposite direction from her intended destination.

Fearing for her safety, the woman jumped from the van's window when the driver slowed to cross a bridge. The man, who did not stop, was last seen in the Hagwilget area on Highway 62, driving towards Highway 16.

Highway 16 is part of an area in the province known as the Highway of Tears linked to the deaths and disappearances of at least 18 women since 1969.

Earlier this year, police confirmed Bobby Jack Fowler, an Oregon inmate who died in 2006, killed at least one woman and was responsible in possibly nine other cases.

Cody Legebokoff is scheduled to go to trial in September 2013 on four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Prince George-area women who disappeared in the region starting in 2009.

The driver in the Christmas Eve case is described as a heavy-set, white man between 40 to 50 years old. He has grey hair and was wearing dark brown glasses and a jean jacket, said RCMP.

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