A Jackson County judge has tripled the bail amount on a 34-year-old Central Point woman suspected of crashing her pickup into a van of reforestation workers early Monday morning, killing one and injuring three others, then fleeing the scene.
Circuit Judge Tim Barnack set Leta Schroeder's bail at $3 million during her arraignment Tuesday after asking whether she'd be able to post a 10 percent deposit on her original $1 million bail. Schroeder, 34, said she would have been able to a year ago, but that her husband spent most of their money purchasing two houses. Barnack said a $3 million bail would give officials a chance to look into Schroeder's financial situation and ensure she would attend future proceedings.
"In serious cases like this, the bail is going to be higher to make sure they can appear," said prosecuting attorney Nick Geil. "We'll be looking into that matter to determine what's going on there."
County property records show Schroeder owns a home at 3805 Corey Road in Central Point with her husband, Richard Schroeder. Attempts to reach Richard Schroeder were unsuccessful.
Leta Schroeder is being held on charges of second-degree manslaughter — a Measure 11 offense with a minimum penalty of six years and three months in jail — reckless driving and four counts of hit-and-run.
Schroeder allegedly ran a red light while traveling westbound on Crater Lake Highway at 3:40 a.m. Monday, slamming her pickup into the side of a passenger van heading north on North Pacific Highway, then fled the scene on foot, police say. The van, carrying a seven-man reforestation crew from Pacific Coast Contracting Inc. out of Central Point, toppled on its side.
"We believe at this point that she did run a red light," said Lt. Mike Budreau of Medford police, adding officials also believe she was traveling at a high rate of speed. Budreau declined to comment on her exact speed.
Investigators are looking into whether Schroeder was under the influence of intoxicants during the crash, Budreau said.
Police said Schroeder was the only one in the vehicle when the crash occurred.
The impact killed Efran Vargas-Urena, 23, of Medford and seriously injured two others. Arnulfo Anaya, 23, of Medford was in critical condition at Providence Medford Medical Center. Dimas Rodriguez, 21, of Medford was upgraded from serious to fair condition Tuesday at Providence. Thirty-seven-year-old Pedro Santana-Arriaga, address not known, was listed in serious but stable condition at Rogue Valley Medical Center. Emergency officials said all four men were ejected from the van during the crash.
The remaining three crew members walked away uninjured. Police are not releasing their names.
Jackson County Sheriff's Department deputies later found Schroeder at a home in the 3700 block of Jane Ann Lane off Avenue H in White City. She had minor injuries, which police suspect are from the crash. Medford police took her into custody and transported her to Providence for treatment of her injuries before booking her into jail.
Police said Schroeder provided a statement to them on what happened, but they would not release details.
The crash drew emergency crews from Medford Fire-Rescue and Jackson County Fire District No. 3. The Serious Traffic Accident Reconstruction Team was on-site until late Monday afternoon investigating, which caused traffic delays throughout the day.
Schroeder has a pre-trial hearing scheduled for 4 p.m. Monday, July 30.
Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.