Walter Carr of Birmingham, Alabama, found himself in quite the predicament last week.
His car broke down the night before he was supposed to start a job as a mover, and his first gig was nearly 20 miles from his home, news site AL.com reports.
Carr, a 20-year-old college student, wasn’t about the let that stop him. He decided he would wake up at midnight and walk eight hours to work on Friday morning.
A couple of hours into his trek, Carr stopped in a bank parking lot to take a break because his legs hurt. As he rested, a police car drove up, and an officer, identified as Mark Knighten, asked Carr if he was OK. Carr explained to Knighten what he was doing.
“I didn’t want to defeat myself,” Carr told ABC.
The officer took Carr to breakfast and paid for his meal. Knighten then drove Carr as far as possible but had to drop him off at a church because of an upcoming shift change. Knighten promised Carr another officer would be around soon to check on him and possibly drive him the rest of the way. But around 5:30 a.m., Carr got nervous about being late and decided to start walking again. Eventually, another officer, Scott Duffey, caught up with Carr and drove him the last 4 miles to his job. When the two arrived, Duffey told the homeowner who was moving, Jenny Lamey, about Carr’s journey.
“The officer told me, ‘I’ve got this nice kid in my car. He’s a great kid, he’s been walking all night to get to your house,’” Lamey told The Washington Post. “That’s when the tears started coming. I just started crying.”
Touched, Lamey posted about Carr on Facebook. The post went viral, and Luke Marklin, the CEO of the company Carr works for, Bellhops, caught wind of what his new employee did.
Marklin drove from his home in Tennessee to Alabama to meet with Carr, telling him that he wanted to buy him a cup of coffee and thank him. At the end of their meeting, Marklin surprised Carr with the keys to his barely driven 2014 Ford Escape.
“I am honestly blown away by him,” Marklin told AL.com. “Everything he did that day is exactly who we are — heart and grit. So far, he’s batting 1,000.”
Understandably, Carr broke down when he was presented with his new ride.
“Don’t let nobody tell you you can’t do something,” he told the Post. “It’s up to us whether we can.”