Update: Two-vehicle collision claims life of Ladysmith woman

NANAIMO – B.C. Coroners Service confirms victim's identity. Police looking for witnesses to crash.

The B.C. Coroners Service has confirmed the identity of a woman who died in a motor vehicle incident near Nanaimo Tuesday, as Heidi Barbara Plato, 51, of Ladysmith.

Plato was the driver and sole occupant of a pickup truck that was travelling southbound on Yellow Point Road, in Cedar, south of Nanaimo, at about 7:15 p.m. when her pickup collided with another pickup truck between Thomas Place and Gould Road.

The 39-year-old male driver of the other vehicle allegedly fled the scene, but was found on Cedar Road about an hour after the crash and was arrested for refusing to provide a breath sample and failing to remain that the scene of an accident. He sustained only soft-tissue injuries, according to police, and was taken to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital for treatment and released.

The woman died while being rushed to hospital in Nanaimo.

No other passengers were in either vehicle.

The woman’s family have been notified and will be assisted by Nanaimo and Ladysmith RCMP victim services.

Both vehicles will undergo mechanical inspections.

“It is only early in the investigation and considerable investigative work is required before officers will be in a position to consider further charges against the 39 year old male driver,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman in a press release.

Anyone who witnessed the collision or has any information about events leading up to the crash, please call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345.