Investigators say driver error is to blame for a fatal collision near Nanaimo's airport on Monday.

RCMP say a Nanaimo-area woman in her 80s was killed in the crash, which took place on the Trans-Canada Highway at Spitfire Road, at the turn-in to the airport.

Early findings are that the woman's southbound SUV collided with a northbound vehicle when she made an unsafe left turn, according to police.

The southbound vehicle struck the woman's SUV on the passenger side door going full highway speed, sending it into a light standard.

The woman was pronounced dead shortly after the incident.

Alcohol, drugs and speed have been ruled out as factors in the fatal crash.