Middle Village man found frozen to death in car

Police said 55-year-old Donald Swidzinski was found dead in the backseat of his jeep over the weekend in the parking lot of a Maspeth McDonald’s.
TimesLedger Newspapers
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

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 or by phone at (718) 260–4566.

Updated 12:32 am, July 10, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reader feedback

THINK from Queens says:
SAD. The guy was a complete A-Hole and obviously a alcoholic.

He didn't pass, he killed himself by being completely STUPID and a BIG A-HOLE.
Jan. 12, 2018, 8:59 am
Thinkagain from Queens says:
Dear Think,
Please have some respect. Only a stupid a-hole would post a comment like that.
Jan. 12, 2018, 4:39 pm
THINK from Queens says:
WHY, Thinkagain from Queens, I should have respect, obvious this drunk a-hole had none.
Jan. 12, 2018, 4:57 pm
Justified from SE Queens says:
Hey Thinkagain, maybe this person should have had some respect for himself instead of being drunk and passing out in a car with that cold spell.

Well, I guess he did passed..........passed out.
Jan. 12, 2018, 5 pm
Christopher from Middle Village says:
You idiots calling him an A-Hole never met the man. There are many kind hearted people who struggle with addiction. You probably have or have had some in your family at some point. You are ignorant and dumb. Go back to your sad pathetic lives as keyboard warriors
Jan. 12, 2018, 7:22 pm
Christopher from Middle Village says:
And by the way, if your gonna be a keyboard warrior on post things about other people publicly then why don't you use your real name and not do it anonymously like a gutless coward
Jan. 12, 2018, 7:26 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.


Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: