"Hero" Uber Driver Pays for Hotel Room for Teen Passenger Who Was Stranded on I-95
DaVante Williams was one of hundreds of motorists stranded for hours by snowy weather on I-95 in northern Virginia earlier this month.
The part-time Uber driver told CNN he didn't realize the storm had created an unprecedented backup when he agreed to a pickup from Union Station in Washington, DC, early Tuesday morning. Williams' passenger, a teenage girl, found herself alone in the city when her train home to Williamsburg, Virginia, was canceled due to the weather.
It was about 20 miles into what should have been a two-and-a-half-hour trip when Williams encountered a 50-mile-long chain of brake lights.
"At this point we are just sitting on the same location, hours are starting to go by and people are starting to get off their cars to stretch," he told The Washington Post. "This doesn't look good."
Williams said he frequently checked on the girl, offering her drinks and snacks, but he was concerned about running out of gas.
"She's telling me she's okay, but I could hear her on the phone talking to family and friends and I can hear that she's just exhausted, emotional, and just tired," he told CNN.
Five hours went by before he noticed a group of truck drivers clearing a path for motorists to turn around. But before turning around, he asked the girl to put him in touch with her parents so he could explain his plan to drive back to D.C. and pay for a hotel room for her.
"I understand your fear and what's going through your mind," Williams recalled telling the girl's mother. "But please see that this is coming from a genuine place. I just want her to be safe and get rest."
It took a while, but eventually they all agreed it was the best idea.
"They don't know me, I don't know them, and I get it," Williams told CNN. "They just want to make sure their child is safe."
He got her checked into a hotel around 8 a.m. that morning and she was able to get a family friend to take her home. She texted him later that night to let him know she was home safe.
WATCH: Truckers Share Supplies With Fellow Drivers Stranded on I-95 in Virginia
"At the end of the day, the situation was larger than me and it was not about the money," Williams told The Post. "It was about me doing the humane thing for me and her to be safe."
Uber later reimbursed Williams for the cost of the hotel room and praised him on social media.
But that's not where the story ends for Williams. His heroics led to a job offer from the upscale ridesharing company, Alto, where he accepted a new role in management.
Well done, DaVante!