Woman accused of manslaughter has DUII added

Leta Schroeder, 34, allegedly ran a red light and crashed into a van full of forest workers

A woman suspected of smashing her truck into a passenger van and killing one person before fleeing the scene last week has been indicted on several charges, including a new charge of driving under the influence of intoxicants.

Court records show Leta Schroeder, 34, of Central Point was indicted by a grand jury late last week on four counts of second-degree manslaughter, four counts of failing to perform the duties of a driver, which resulted in the injury or death of another, and driving under the influence.

"They indicted her based on the evidence of using illegal substances that evening and morning," said Lt. Mike Budreau of Medford police.

Second-degree manslaughter is a Measure 11 offense with a minimum of six years and three months in prison.

Prosecutor Nick Geil said he could not get into specifics about the evidence or the ongoing case. Court records show that Schroeder, then Leta Ortiz, was convicted of methamphetamine possession in 2000.

A pretrial conference will be scheduled within the next few weeks. Schroeder remains in the Jackson County Jail on $3 million bail. Her original pretrial hearing, set for Monday, July 30, was canceled.

Medford police said Schroeder allegedly ran a red light at the intersection of Highway 99 and Crater Lake Highway at 3:40 a.m. on July 23. Police said her truck smashed into the side of the van, which carried a seven-person reforestation crew from Central Point-based Pacific Coast Contracting Inc., on its way to a job site in Glendale.

The impact knocked the van on its side and ejected four passengers. Police say Schroeder then ran off toward Rogue Valley Mall with minor injuries. Authorities tracked her to a residence in the 3700 block of Jane Ann Lane in White City 14 hours after the crash and arrested her.

Efran Vargas-Urena, 23, of Medford, died in the crash. Arnulfo Anaya, 23, and Dimas Rodriguez, 21, both of Medford, were seriously injured and transported to Providence Medford Medical Center. Pedro Santana-Arriaga, 37, address not known, was transported to Rogue Regional Medical Center with serious injuries.

Rodriguez is no longer listed as a patient at Providence, hospital officials said. Anaya was transported to RRMC and is listed in critical condition. Santana-Arriaga has been upgraded to fair condition. The other three crew members walked away unhurt. Police have declined to release their names.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or by email at rpfeil@mailtribune.com.

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