Uber driver who got hotel room for teenage passenger after being stranded on I-95 is offered a new job


By David Williams, CNN

DaVante Williams was just focusing on getting her teenage passenger back to her parents safely for more than five hours. they were stuck on Interstate 95 in Virginia with countless other vehicles.

The part-time Uber driver told CNN he was unaware that Monday’s severe winter storm created a 50-mile-long backup that left some motorists stranded for more than 24 hours when he agreed to make the trip from Washington, DC to Williamsburg, Virginia.

Williams, 32, said he picked up the girl from Union Station on Tuesday around 2 a.m., after she the train was canceled due to weather conditions.

They were about 20 miles into the two and a half hour trip when Williams realized there was a problem.

“I noticed trucks and cars, there are a ton of red lights in front of me,” he said.

He tried to take an alternate route, but police sent him back on the Interstate because those roads were also closed due to downed trees and power lines.

“Once we get back onto I-95, my GPS instantly updates and adds another hour and 30 minutes to the trip,” Williams said.

He said he kept watching his passenger and offering her drinks and snacks which he kept in the car.

“She tells me that she is fine, but I could hear her on the phone talking to her family and friends and I can hear that she is just exhausted, emotional and just tired,” he said.

Williams said he didn’t have any blankets in the car and worried his gasoline would run low because he was running the car to use the heater.

He was eventually able to follow a work truck and other cars, turn around on I-95, and return to DC.

Williams didn’t want to leave the passenger at Union Station on her own, so he convinced her parents to let him book a hotel room for her – with her own money – so she could rest and be safe.

Parents were reluctant at first, but agreed it was the best idea.

“They don’t know me, I don’t know them, and I understand,” said Williams. “They just want to make sure their child is safe.”

He had her checked in at the hotel around 8 a.m. and offered to drive the passenger back to Williamsburg for free once the roads were clear.

A friend of her family was able to take her home.

“So around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday night, she texted me and told me she was safe,” he said. “She thanked me for everything and her parents thanked me too, for doing what I did for their daughter because I didn’t have to.”

Uber reimburses Williams for the cost of the hotel room and thanked him for doing so much for his passenger.

“Mr. Williams has gone beyond this very stressful situation, and we thank him for his thoughtful actions,” a company spokesperson said in an email to CNN.

The company said “not all heroes wear capes” in a post on Twitter.

Williams was paid $ 107 for the ride, but his amazing customer service got him another opportunity.

He was offered a part-time job as a principal conductor at Alto, a high-end rideshare company that operates in Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, and DC.

Williams said he would train other drivers in customer service and the maintenance of their vehicles.

“We are thrilled,” a spokeswoman said in an email to CNN. “DaVante is exactly the type of customer-centric and security-focused leader we are looking for to help lead our presence in DC. “

Williams said they are still working on the details of the offer as he works full time as a property manager and real estate agent.

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