Hit-and-Runs Spark Urgent Call for Accountability in Miramar: Victims’ Stories Highlight Growing Concern

Silvio Ortega Martinez was killed on November 27, 2022. Jahmaar Williams was critically wounded on March 4, 2023. Onyxia Delinois, as of the date this article was written, remains hospitalized in critical condition with severe head injuries due to an April 6, 2024, incident. What do they all have in common? They were all pedestrians, struck by vehicles that fled the scene of the crash. 

According to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), “Florida has seen the amount of hit-and-run crashes remain steady, with nearly 25 percent of all crashes involving a hit-and-run. Although the majority of hit-and-run crashes only result in property damage, hit-and-run crashes can be deadly.” In 2023, hit-and-run crashes resulted in 271 fatalities and 871 serious bodily injuries in Florida alone. 

In moments of panic and distress, it’s human nature to want to flee from a scene of chaos. However, it’s imperative to recognize the critical importance of staying put after a crash. The decision to remain at the scene not only demonstrates responsibility but also plays a pivotal role in ensuring the safety of everyone involved and upholding justice and accountability.

First and foremost, staying at the scene of an accident allows individuals to assess the situation and provide immediate assistance to those in need. In the aftermath of a collision, individuals may be injured and require urgent medical attention. By staying on site, individuals can promptly call emergency services and administer first aid to injured parties, potentially saving lives in the process. Seconds matter in emergencies, and swift action can make a significant difference in the outcome.

Furthermore, staying at the scene of a crash enables individuals to cooperate with law enforcement officers conducting investigations. Police officers play a crucial role in documenting the accident, gathering evidence, and determining fault. By remaining present, individuals can provide their account of the events leading up to the crash, which can aid in establishing a clear understanding of what transpired. This cooperation is vital for ensuring that justice is served and that responsible parties are held accountable for their actions.

Leaving the scene of an accident can result in severe legal consequences, including fines, license suspension, and even criminal charges, depending on the severity of the incident and other factors. In some cases, staying at the scene of a crash may also provide individuals with protection from potential liability claims. By remaining present and cooperating with authorities, individuals can demonstrate that they acted responsibly and did not attempt to evade their obligations, if they are even at fault. This transparency can mitigate the risk of facing unfounded accusations and legal disputes down the line, offering peace of mind to all parties involved.

“Leaving the scene of an accident only compounds the situation. Stay, offer assistance, and ensure help arrives. Do the right thing,” said Miramar Traffic Unit Sergeant Jason Sorrell.

Ultimately, staying on the scene of a crash is not just a legal obligation; it’s a moral imperative. It’s a demonstration of compassion, accountability, and respect for the well-being of others. In moments of crisis, our actions define us, and choosing to stay and assist in the aftermath of an accident can make all the difference. By doing so, we uphold the principles of justice, promote safety, and contribute to creating a more responsible and caring community.

In Silvio Ortega Martinez and Jahmaar Williams’ hit-and run crashes, Miramar Traffic Homicide investigators located and arrested the drivers involved. Both criminal trials are still pending. Onyxia Delinois’ case is still under investigation. Anyone with information is urged to contact Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. You can remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.