Uber driver who got a hotel room for teen passenger after being stuck on I-95 gets offered a new job
By: April Carson
During the more than five hours they were trapped on Interstate 95 in Virginia along with numerous other vehicles, DaVante Williams was simply focused on getting his teenage passenger home safely to her parents.
According to the driver, who works part-time for Uber, he didn't realize that Monday's heavy winter storm had caused a 50-mile back jam, leaving some people stranded for more than 24 hours, when he accepted the trip from Washington, DC, to Williamsburg, Virginia.
According to Mr. Williams, he picked up the girl at Union Station around 2 a.m. on Tuesday, after her train was canceled due to the weather conditions.
When they were about 20 miles into the two and a half hour journey, Williams realized things weren't right. "There were trucks and automobiles, there are a lot of red lights in front of me," he added.
He attempted to go around the debris, but police forced him back onto the Interstate since other routes were also blocked because of fallen trees and power lines. "Once we reach I-95, my GPS instantly updates itself and adds another hour-and-30 minutes to the trip," Williams explained.
The driver said he kept checking on his passenger and providing her with beverages and snacks that he kept in the car. "She's telling me she's fine, but I could hear her talking on the phone with family and friends, and I can tell she's exhausted, emotional, and weary," he added.
Williams said that he didn't have any blankets in the car and was concerned about running out of gas while using the heater. He was eventually able to track down a work truck and other cars on I-95 and reverse course, returning to Washington.
Williams didn't want to leave the girl at Union Station on her own, so he persuaded her parents to let him get a hotel room for her – with his own money - so she might rest and be secure.
The parents were hesitant at first, but they eventually agreed that it was the wisest option. "They don't know me, and I don't know them," he added. "They're just looking to make sure their child is safe."
At about 8 a.m., he drove her to the hotel, where she was promptly checked in and given a room on him for the evening. He offered to take the passenger back to Williamsburg for free once the roads were cleared.
A family friend took her home.
"On Tuesday evening, around 8:30, she texted me to let me know that she was safe," he added. "She expressed her gratitude for everything I'd done for her and her family, which I didn't have to do."
Uber said it was covering the cost of a hotel room and expressing gratitude to Mr. Williams for his service.
"Mr. Williams went above and beyond during this very trying time, and we appreciate his considerate actions," a spokesperson for the firm told CNN in an email. In a tweet, the firm said that "not all heroes wear capes."
Williams was compensated $107 for the ride, but his outstanding customer service has won him a new career opportunity. He was offered a part-time position as a lead driver for Alto, an upscale ridesharing firm that operates in Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, and Washington DC.
Williams said he would be teaching other drivers on client service and keeping their vehicles in excellent condition.
"We are overjoyed," a spokesperson for the company told CNN. "DaVante is an excellent example of a customer-focused safety leader we'd want to assist lead our DC efforts." They also explained they were still working out the specifics of the offer because he works full-time as a property manager and realtor.
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About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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