An Irreplaceable Loss

Media Inquiries

Darren Bean, MD

Darren Bean, MD


Mark Coyne, RN

Mark Coyne, RN


Steve Lipperer, Med Flight pilot

Steve Lipperer, pilot


MADISON - On the night of Saturday, May 10, UW Health lost three extraordinary men, when a UW Hospital and Clinics Med Flight helicopter crashed near La Crosse, Wis., killing all three crew members on board.


Emergency physician Darren Bean, MD, flight nurse Mark Coyne, RN, and pilot Steve Lipperer were uniquely gifted individuals whose lives enriched everyone around them. They and their families remain daily in our thoughts and prayers.


In addition to their life-saving work with Med Flight, Dr. Bean and Mark Coyne were collaborating on several projects to improve delivery of emergency care across South Central Wisconsin, from implementing hypothermia protocols for patients with stroke and cardiac arrest to raising awareness of new, streamlined chestcompression CPR techniques with local and regional emergency medical service providers.


Over the course of his service as a pilot, Lipperer had helped to transport countless critical patients to life-saving care throughout Southern Wisconsin.


"We'll find a way to go on, and return to saving lives, but this is an irreplaceable loss," says Mark Hanson, the director of Med Flight services. "These three men were at the very heart of our program, and their contributions were immeasurable."


The outpouring of support and condolence from our community and region truly illustrates the compassionate and courageous way these three men lived their lives. They were teachers and healers dedicated to using their skill and energy and experience to better the lives of literally thousands of people. We are a better community because of them, and our grief is deep.


Hundreds of individuals from across the country and around the world have submitted tributes to Darren, Mark and Steve. These words of comfort from other hospitals, air medical transport programs, friends, colleagues, family, and others from throughout the state and beyond are available on


We thank all those who contributed to this incredible collection of memories that will help sustain their families, colleagues and friends, and invite you to add to them by visiting our Web site.


At UW Health, we are determined to honor the memory of Darren, Mark and Steve by continuing the compassionate, life-saving work they loved, believed in and for which they gave their lives. Their passion and talent for helping others set a very high bar—one that we pledge to keep raising.


Date Published: 06/26/2008

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