BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — When Donald Abate called 911 during the height of the Snowvember storm he said he was trapped in his car on Broadway in Alden.
“He can’t get out of the vehicle. He’s close to Broadway which means he could be hit by the plow so he’s in a dangerous situation. As far as we can tell nobody makes an effort to find him,” said Brian Fitzgerald, attorney for Abate’s estate and his wife, Jacqueline.
It’s an error that a lawsuit on behalf of Abate’s estate and his wife, Jacqueline says cost him his life.
“When he spoke to 911 he was very clear on where he was,” said Fitzgerald. “He said that he was at Broadway at its intersection with Two Rod Road.”
An ongoing lawsuit in State Supreme Court has uncovered 911 recordings and logs that detail the confusion surrounding Abate’s location and the response by 911 dispatchers and the Erie County Sheriff.
Abate was just trying to get home to his wife in Blasdell when he pulled off the road along Broadway in Alden in the early morning hours of Nov. 18.
But 911 records show that Abate’s call seemed to go nowhere.
And when family called at 4:50 p.m. to say he was at a car wash near Tops, police were sent to Tops at 12775 Broadway nearly two miles east from Abate’s location at 11637 Broadway.
When an officer went there at 11:43 p.m. he reported finding nothing that resembles a Kia–Abate’s car
It wasn’t until the next day that officials reported finding Abate dead in his car.
The vehicle was just where he had told 911 that he was – almost 22 hours after his first call to 911
Erie County declined to comment citing pending litigation.