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Man dies likely believing help was on the way

Posted at 11:33 PM, Nov 21, 2014
and last updated 2015-11-16 23:31:55-05

A 50-year-old man who had been reported missing was found early Friday in his car in Cheektowaga on Innsbruck Drive, buried in his car under snow.

Cheektowaga Police identify the man as David M. Deneke of North Creek Drive in Depew. Deneke was found in his 2004 Chevy Cavalier at 6:30 a.m. off the side of the road on Innsbruck Drive 200 yards east of Union Road. His car was completely covered in snow.

MORE | On deaths in Erie, Niagara and Genesee counties

Initial investigation into his death reveals that Deneke called the police dispatch center at 9:25 a.m. on Tuesday, November 18. He told the dispatcher that he had called AAA for a tow truck but was told that it would take at least eight hours.

The dispatcher told Deneke that it probably would take at least that long for a tow truck from the police and that all the area was inaccessible at the time. He was told that the tow would be added to a list.

Deneke’s mom called the police dispatch at 4 p.m. on Tuesday and reported that she could not locate her son. Police received a call at 8:53 p.m. from his mom again to see if he had been located.

AAA of Western and Central New York's CEO Tony Spada released the following statement Saturday afternoon:

"At AAA Western and Central New York, we are deeply saddened at the loss of our two members, Donald Abate and David Deneke. This devastating storm claimed 13 lives, including these two individuals.  Our hearts are heavy and we continue keep their families in our thoughts and prayers.

Our associates (call center and dispatch operations) were communicating regularly with both members, providing updated information and estimated time of arrivals (ETAs).

The onset of extreme weather on the Nov. 18th, a state of emergency declaration, travel bans and impassible road conditions rendered our vehicles unable to reach the locations of these members.

Members were made aware of these challenging circumstances, and we advised them to contact 911.  Both members confirmed doing this. Reports indicate that family members also contacted police.

It is our understanding that police and 911 emergency personnel were faced with the same insurmountable challenges and requests for service."

Cheektowaga Police continue to check their timeline on phone records at this time and have not found a call from Deneke’s mom at 4 p.m. yet but have found the call at 8:53 p.m. Cheektowaga Police Dispatch received over 1,500 phone calls that day.

Cheektowaga Police offer sincere condolences to the family and friends of Deneke.