12/28/2012 08:50 EST | Updated 02/27/2013 05:12 EST

Northwestern B.C. Mounties search for red van after hitchhiker leaps to safety

KISPIOX, B.C. - A young hitchhiker is okay after leaping from a minivan in northwestern B.C., to escape a threatening situation.

RCMP Const. Lesley Smith says the incident occurred just after noon on Christmas Eve in the Kispiox area, about 90 kilometres north of Smithers.

The woman had been picked up by 40 to 50-year-old man driving a red minivan but, after a brief conversation Mounties say she became uncomfortable and asked the man to let her out.

Instead, he continued driving away from her intended destination and the woman jumped from the van when the suspect slowed to cross a bridge.

Smith says the grey-haired, heavy-set man was last seen in the Hagwilget area on Highway 62, driving towards Highway 16.

Investigators urge anyone with information about the suspect or the van to call the New Hazelton RCMP detachment or Crimestoppers.