DaVante Williams and her passengers were already sitting inside their blue BMWs for at least five hours in Virginia.
The part-time Uber driver had tried to take the alternate route that would take him away Interstate 95 — the highway that, thanks to a winter storm, no drivers wanted to take earlier this week. He was to be taken to his home in Williamsburg, Va., on Tuesday morning by the teenager who was picked up at Union Station in DC.
but as Hundreds of drivers stranded By storm that day, Williams and the teens were at a standstill.
The teenager, who appeared exhausted and regularly called her parents to update her on the situation, was on the verge of tears again, Williams said. As the temperature dropped, the amount of gas in his car was decreasing, and he resorted to shutting down his vehicle for five-minute intervals to save fuel and keep the heater on.
He had to get out of there somehow.
“I need to get out of this traffic because my anxiety is starting to kick in, and I’m in a car with a complete stranger,” Williams told The Washington Post in an interview. “I am responsible for him and me at this time.”
So Williams, a property manager and real estate agent, asked the teenager to put her parents on the phone so she could propose a plan to bring their daughter home safely after the Virginia Department of Transportation reopens the road. . In the meantime, he said, he’ll find a way to drive back to D.C. and pay for a hotel room for her so she can sleep for a few hours. As the highway cleared, Williams swore he would drive the girl home safely, at no charge.
The act of kindness quickly made national headlines as social media users praised Williams for going above and beyond her duties. Uber, which delivered Williams shout out to your twitter account, later approached her for reimbursement of about $150 for the teenager’s hotel room, Williams, 32, told The Post.
“Not all heroes wear hats, thanks Davante!” The company tweeted.
But the biggest surprise came when the CEO of alto, an upscale ride-sourcing service operating in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami and Washington DC, Williams offered A part-time role supervising and training company drivers.
Alto confirmed in an email to The Post that Williams has been offered a part-time deal with the luxury ride-share company.
“Davante is exactly the type of customer and security-focused leader we want to help lead our DC presence,” Alto’s Chief Customer Officer Alex Halberdier said in an email.
Williams wasn’t the only motorist stuck on I-95 who made a kind gesture to make the situation a little less stressful for a stranger. A couple trapped on the interstate for about 16 hours the bakery is called whose truck was also stuck nearby to ask if the driver of the truck could distribute bread with dozens hungry driver, For about an hour, the couple and the truck driver distributed about 300 packets of bread.
a 93 year old retired orthopedic surgeon The man who was stuck on an icy interstate and later got lost found his way thanks to a radio reporter, a trip planner, a police officer, and hotel staff, who helped him overcome the 39-hour odyssey. other drivers food and drink in hand Hungry strangers.
Williams, who left his home early Tuesday without checking the news or any weather alerts, said he picked up the teenager at Union Station at 2 p.m. The girl – the fourth customer of the morning – shared that her parents ordered her an Uber home after train ride canceled Because of a derailment.
But what should have been a two-and-a-half-hour ride under normal circumstances quickly became a day trip to the girl’s home, Williams said. About 20 miles after climbing I-95, Williams arrived with “tons” of cars and trailers with their brake lights on.
“I just thought maybe it was a little fender bender, but when I got closer, I noticed the traffic wasn’t moving,” he told The Post. Williams managed to get off the highway, he said, but everywhere he drove he was met by a police officer or a state trooper, who said those roads were also closed and he was returned to I-95. Was advised to go.
First, his GPS indicated that he would reach his destination about an hour and a half late. But as the hours went by, Williams and the teenager realized they would likely be stuck there longer.
“At this point we’re just sitting in one place, the hours go by and people are starting to descend to pull over their cars,” Williams told The Post. “It doesn’t look good.”
He said he felt defeated until he supported a group of truck drivers and instructed other cars to clear the “gridlock”. That’s when he asked the girl to contact her parents so that they could tell about their plan. Her parents were initially hesitant about letting their daughter stay in a hotel, but after a while, they allowed her to move back to D.C. and pay for the girl’s hotel room.
“I understand your fear and what’s going through your mind,” Williams said to the girl’s mother. “But please see it’s coming from a real place. All I want is for him to be safe and rested.”
After checking in at the hotel, he asked the mother to get in touch with the girl. When they arrived at the hotel in DC at around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Williams asked the girl to message her after she felt sleepy. He returned to his home about two blocks away to do so. Later that night, Kishor texted her to thank him. She also shared that her parents had arranged for a family friend to pick her up. That night she reached home safely.
“At the end of the day, the position was bigger than me and it wasn’t about the money,” Williams said. “It was about doing humanitarian work for me and her to be safe.”
Williams said he is scheduled to visit Alto’s DC office on Friday to formally accept the job offer.