Middle Village man found frozen to death in car

Police said 55 year-old Donald Swidzinki was found dead in the backseat of his jeep over the weekend.
By Gina Martinez

A Middle Village man apparently froze to death in the backseat of his car during the recent frigid weekend.

According to police, 55-year-old Donald Swidzinski was found dead in the early hours of last Saturday in the backseat of his Jeep in the parking lot of a McDonald’s on Borden Avenue in Maspeth. Police said they believe Swidzinski was intoxicated when he crawled into the car and fell asleep. A bottle was found with him.

The cause of death is to be determined by the medical examiner, but police said Swidzinski appears to have died of hypothermia.

Temperatures that weekend were as low as 9 degrees.

Swidzinski’s wake at Our Lady of Hope Church in Middle Village was set for this past Thursday morning.

His obituary listed him as a beloved father of Devin and Christian, dear husband of Tina Marie, cherished son of Eleanora and Peter Swidinski, and loving brother of Lynn Russo, Peter, Renee Ventura and Roman, He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

A video keepsake on his online obituary page showed Swidzinski with his young children and family on vacation.

Mourners expressed their condolences on the page.

“I’m so sorry for your unimaginable loss,” a friend posted. “Keeping you and your entire family in our prayers. Sending our deepest and most sincere condolences.”

Another friend posted: “My love and prayers to all. He will be greatly missed. God be with him and all of you.”

Swidzinski’s widow, according to reports, is the former owner of Piast European Market, a Polish deli in Greenpoint. On her Facebook page she expressed her grief in a post. She shared a picture of Swidzinski with her son and captioned it:

“Today is a very sad day,” she posted. “My partner in life, father of my son, has passed away! Very sad that he pass at such an early age come and have so much life out of him! We all love him! I love him so much, I don’t know how it will go living.”

Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmartinez@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

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