Uber drivers are often praised for going above the call to ensure their teenage passengers return home safe.
DaVante Williams, Washington, D.C., joined hundreds of others who were stuck for hours due to heavy snowfall this week on a section Interstate 95 in Virginia.
Williams stated that he woke up on Monday night after a long nap and opened his Uber Driver app to find many passengers looking for a ride.
He didn’t see any road closure advisories or alerts, so he set out to pick up three different riders around midnight on Tuesday morning.
Williams then took his fourth passenger, a teenage girl, to Union Station, after her train home to Williamsburg, Virginia was canceled by a derailment.
Around 20 miles in, everything came to an abrupt halt. Williams tried to get off of the highway, but was eventually directed back to I-95’s unmoving traffic.
He thought it was just a “little fender bender,” but it turned out to be far worse as hours went by, and they still hadn’t moved.
In an interview with NewsNation Now, Williams said the passenger was “so distraught” as they faced the gridlock traffic. The driver spoke to her parents to assure that their daughter was safe and sound when it became clear that her return home would be delayed due to yet another snag.
“I had to explain to her parents that, ‘Hey, I’m not any one crazy. I’m just trying to get your daughter somewhere safe,’“ said Williams, a full-time realtor and property manager who also drives for Uber and Lyft on the side.
The two ended up spending five and a-half hours stuck on I-95 overnight. Williams always has water, crackers, or some other type of juice, so he was able share them with the young passenger.
“I had little stuff to get us over,” he recalled.
Williams was able to find a way out of the freeway at 7:30 a.m. on the next morning. The driver realized that Williams was tired from sitting in traffic all night, and that she was still quite far from home. He booked her a hotel room at 8:30 a.m. so she could rest and plan alternative travel plans.
“I wanted to make sure she was comfortable. And I didn’t want to leave her stranded,” he told the outlet.
Williams offered to drive her home the rest of the road once the roads were cleared. Finally, Williams offered to drive her home with a friend of his family.
“I’m happy it was me that was her driver. Any other driver, I’m not sure what would have happened,” Williams said. “And based on her energy and her presence, I felt I was put there for a reason… to do what I did.”
The family thanked him for reuniting the teen with her parents and expressed their gratitude.
“She actually texted me and just thanked me … for everything that I had done for her that night,” Williams said.
Uber caught wind of Williams’ story, and they gave him a shoutout on Twitter. They wrote: “Not all heroes wear capes thank you, Davante!”
Williams was later praised by a representative of the company. They also requested a receipt from the hotel to reimburse him.
All the attention also led Williams to be offered a part-time role as a “lead driver” for Ride Alto, where he will be in a supervising and managing role. The startup, which recently launched in D.C., describes itself as an “upscale ride-sourcing service.”
Many similar stories emerged after the I-95 shutdown. One example is that of a bakery company who generously gave bread from their truck away to hungry and stranded motorists.
Click the video below to see Williams discuss his story with NewsNation Now.
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