Feel-Good Friday: An Uber Driver Goes Above and Beyond for One Passenger, and Gets Recognized for His Efforts

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Remember a time in our society when we watched out for each other and cared what happened to our fellow man, and if it was in our power to help we would? That time still exists, we just don’t hear about it as much as we should. And sometimes, it requires uncommon circumstances for it to be brought into the spotlight.

This week’s Feel-Good Friday is shining the light.

The first week of January, a horrible snowstorm on the East Coast shut down I-95, the major interstate that connects Washington, D.C. to Virginia—for 24 hours. Thanks to the fecklessness of then-Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, nobody knew about it, and people ended up trapped on the freeway. So, when a teenage girl’s train from D.C. to Virginia was canceled because of the weather, her parents called an Uber to transport her back to Virginia, unaware of the freeway closure.

Here’s where it gets interesting.

From CNN:

DaVante Williams was just focused on getting his teenage passenger home safely to her parents during the more than five hours they were stuck on Interstate 95 in Virginia along with countless other vehicles.

The part-time Uber driver told CNN he didn’t know that Monday’s severe winter storm had 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 the girl up at Union Station at about 2 a.m. on Tuesday, after her train had been canceled because of the weather conditions.

Williams and his passenger ended up idling on the freeway, not going anywhere, and using the heater to stay warm, because Williams did not have any blankets in the car. Williams became concerned about the girl’s state of mind, as well as fearful that he would soon run out of gas. Luckily, Williams was able to follow some work trucks off the freeway, and turned back around to D.C.

At this point, Williams could have simply dropped his passenger back at Union Station and went on his merry way, but he did not want to leave a young girl stranded and alone at a train station in the middle of the city. So, he convinced her parents to let him get her a hotel room—with his own money.

The parents were reluctant at first, but agreed that it was the best idea.

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

He got her checked into the hotel at about 8 that morning and offered to take the passenger back to Williamsburg for free once the roads cleared.

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

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

Uber reimbursed Williams for the cost of the hotel room, and commended him for going above and beyond for his passenger.

On top of that, because of this monumental showing of not just customer service, but care and compassion for another human being, Williams was presented with a new career opportunity.

Alto is an upmarket rideshare company with hubs in Dallas and Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, and D.C., and they extended an offer to Williams for a part-time job with their corporation.

Williams said he would be training other drivers on customer service and maintaining their vehicles.

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

Williams said they are still working out the details of the offer because he works full time as a property manager and realtor.

A good friend of mine always says, “Cream rises to the top.” DaVante Williams’ richness of heart and quality of service deserved recognition. I hope he continues to rise to greater things.