Suspect in fatal hit-and-run Medford crash charged with DUII
The woman suspected of smashing her truck into a passenger van and killing one 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 — a Measure 11 felony offense — 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 of intoxicants.
"They indicted her based on the evidence of using illegal substances that evening and morning," said Lt. Mike Budreau of Medford police.
Nick Geil, prosecuting attorney, said he could not get into specifics on the evidence or the ongoing case. Court records show Schroeder, then Leta Ortiz, was convicted of methamphetamine possession in 2000.
A pre-trial conference will be scheduled within the next few weeks. Schroeder remains in the Jackson County Jail on $3 million bail.
Schroeder allegedly ran a red light at the intersection of Highway 99 and Crater Lake Highway at 3:40 a.m. July 23. Police say her truck smashed into the side of the van, which carried a seven-man reforestation crew from 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 fled from the scene on foot with minor injuries. Authorities tracked her to a White City residence 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 for serious injuries. Last week, Rodriguez was listed in good condition at Providence, while Anaya was listed in critical condition. Santana-Arriaga was listed in fair condition at RRMC. The other three crew passengers walked away unhurt. Police have declined to release their names.
— Ryan Pfeil