Postings 101-150: Tribute to the Med Flight Crew

On May 10, 2008, a UW Hospital and Clinics Med Flight helicopter crashed near the La Crosse airport after transporting a patient to a La Crosse hospital. On board were emergency medicine physician Darren Bean, MD, flight nurse Mark Coyne, RN, and pilot Steve Lipperer.

Darren, Mark and Steve represented the very best in compassionate patient care and they will be deeply missed by all members of the UW Health family who knew and respected this courageous and committed Med Flight crew.

The condolences and personal memories in these pages were submitted from May 11-June 20. Thank you to those who have shared your support for the UW Health community and the family and friends of the dedicated Med Flight crew members killed in the crash.
 
Darren Bean, MD

Darren Bean, MD

 

Mark Coyne, RN

Mark Coyne, RN

 

Steve Lipperer, Med Flight pilot

Steve Lipperer, pilot

Tribute Message Board
 
Submitted by: Carol
05/12/2008
 
My thoughts and prayers are with all the families that lost loved ones in this accident. Those that give their lives to save another one's life find favor with the Lord. I was a First Responder for 12 yrs. in SW WI. I still work in the medical field and my prayers are with everyone during this time.
 
 
Submitted by: Vicki Brye
05/12/2008
 
Med Flight Team: I cannot fully express the sympathy I have for all of you at this time. I was one of the original dispatchers for MedLink Air for 15 1/2 years and was so blessed with not having to face the ordeal you are all having to go through right now. I thank God that I was one of the fortunate dispatchers in this business. I can only pray for you all at this time and especially the families of those lost in this tragic accident. May God Bless You All and help you all through this great loss. GOD BLESS.
 
 
Submitted by: Roxie Flaten
05/12/2008
 
This is a tragic loss. Prayers are with the families, friends and coworkers of these 3 brave individuals who were doing what they were trained and loved to do.
 
 
Submitted by: Sarah
05/12/2008
 
My thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this very tragic and difficult time; family, friends, acquaintances and colleagues...!!
 
 
Submitted by: Nancy Stellflue
05/12/2008
 
I was deeply saddened to hear of this tragedy. My deepest sympathy goes out to the family, friends, and co-workers of these three individuals who put their life in danger everyday in an attempt to save someone else's. May God Bless you all.
 
 
Submitted by: Patricia Frechette
05/12/2008
 
My condolences to the families and friends of the flight crew. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
 
 
Submitted by: Kathy
05/12/2008
 
My thoughts and sympathy is with all 3 of the families, friends and co-workers.
 
 
Submitted by: Barb Gleason
05/12/2008
 
To all the family, friends and co-workers of those lost. I am very sorry for your loss. The angels of flight will always be remembered.
 
 
Submittted by: Jorge Berthelon
05/12/2008
 
My deepest condolences to the families. Our hearts go out to you and our tears are shared with yours. Rest in Peace! God Bless All of You.
 
 
Submitted by: Nicole
05/12/2008
 
Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.
 
 
Submitted by: Robyn
05/12/2008
 
I didn't know any of the crew but my thoughts and prayers to all family, friends and colleagues.
- Robyn
Gundersen Lutheran
 
 
Submitted by: Carol
05/12/2008
 
My thoughts and prayers are with family and colleagues of those lost over the weekend. What a tragic loss and a big hole in your hearts.
 
 
Submitted by: Michael Sheedy
05/12/2008
 
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families, friends and co-workers of those sent on their final flight.
- Michael Sheedy
POLICE AIR-ONE Law Enforcement Aviation Coalition (LEAC), Winthrop Harbor, IL
 
 
Submitted by: Debra Amesqua, colleague and friend
05/12/2008
 
The City of Madison Fire Department is deeply saddened at the loss of the department's Medical Director, Dr. Darren Bean. Darren was a medical professional of uncommon skill and energy. He was a tireless advocate of medical innovations. Most recently he had raised community awareness of cardio cerebral resusciation (CCR), a compression-only form of cardiac resusciatation. Darren was a vibrant, and caring friend who will be greatly missed by all of us at the City of Madison Fire Department.
- Debra Amesqua
City of Madison Fire Department
 
 
Submitted by: Andrew, colleague
05/12/2008
 
My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends who knew these wonderful people. They were wonderful people because they dedicated their life to making others better.
 
 
Submitted by: Susan
05/12/2008
 
Our condolences to family members and frieds of Mark, Steve and Darren.
 
 
Submitted by: Aimee Sacks, UW Health colleague
05/12/2008
 
Thank you to all of you for your devotion to saving lives in emergency situations by putting your own lives on the line each time you flew in that chopper. There must be a special place in heaven for each of you. My sincerest condolences to your family, friends and coworkers.
- Aimee Sacks, MT (ASCP)
UW Health Columbus
 
 
Submitted by: Amanda, colleague
05/12/2008
 
As a former employee, I was very lucky to have worked with these great people. Dr. Bean I worked with the most, and he had such great energy; and taught his residents well and anyone else who had questions. He was also great to work with, and very nice to the staff. He will be greatly missed, and I was very saddened to hear of this tragedy. My prayers go out to their families and friends. I know he loved what he did, and died doing what he loved. He was a very passionate human being, as were the other crew members.
 
 
Submitted by: Simon Oh, MD, UW Health colleague and friend
05/12/2008
 
I am deeply saddened about the untimely deaths of 3 very brave individuals. I did not know Mark or Steve, but I knew Darren Bean well. When I was an intern 4 years ago, I worked with Darren during an ER rotation. One night, we had a very sick woman with a presumed meningitis. He asked me if I wanted to do the lumbar puncture. I had never done one so he taught me how to do the procedure which has since become one of my staples. He taught me about being shown one, doing one, and teaching one. Since I have known Darren, he has always been so positive and energetic which rubs off on all those around him. I know that he loved his work and it truly showed. It was refreshing to see that kind of passion. And he always wanted to be even better than he already was. And he was outstanding. We would occasionally see each other in the ER or in the hallways of the hospital. He respected me, a resident, enough to ask my opinion on certain matters related to my specialty. I am still reeling from this devastating loss. I have lost a friend and a colleague. The medical students and residents have lost an inspirational mentor. The community has lost an advocate and one of the best ER doctors I have ever met. And those who never had a chance to meet him have lost out because they will never have this incredible individual affect them. And he would have.
 
 
Submitted by: Connie Niemeyer, colleague
05/12/2008
 
We are deeply saddened to hear of the tragic loss of the flight crew. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of these dedicated professionals. The flight crew of AirCare II in Waterloo, Iowa would like to extend our deepest sympathy to the UW Med Flight transport teams and thank them for the great service they provide. We will be thinking of you during this difficult time.
- Connie Niemeyer
AirCare II, Waterloo, Iowa
 
 
Submitted by: Monica Waletzko, colleague
05/12/2008
 
Mark was one of the instructors I've had for EMT recertification and always went the extra step to keep the class "fresh" and interesting. He arranged our one and only visit to the cadaver lab at MATC, which was such a wonderful learning experience. He taught not only life saving measures, but respect for the patients we were called to treat. He truly was an inspiration, and my heart goes out to his family and co-workers. What a sad loss for us all.
 
 
Submitted by: Tracey
05/12/2008
 
Dr. Bean, Mark and Steve were heroes in life and beyond. They dedicated their lives to helping the people in the State of WI. We will be thinking of them in our prayers. Thank you to the whole Med Flight team. You all represent the best that patient care has to offer. God Bless!
 
 
Submitted by: Steve, friend
05/12/2008
 
It's a terrible loss to all those who had the privilege to know Mark Coyne. He was a dedicated man, a knowledgeable man, and a selfless man. He gave many years of his life, doing what he loved and helping countless people through his service and teaching. What a terrible loss this is... truly, truly heartbreaking. My prayers and heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends as well as those of Dr. Darren Bean and pilot Steve Lipperer. Rest well, heroes.
 
 
Submitted by: Inna Larsen, UW Health colleague
05/12/2008
 
I worked with Dr. Darren Bean on a project and he was so dedicated to improving emergency care out in the field, was so enthusiastic and had great ideas that he wanted to implement. I work right near the Med Flight headquarters on the 7th floor of UWHC and I have passed all three of these folks in the halls many times. They were truly special, they made a difference. What a great loss to our hospital, our community and the state of Wisconsin. My thoughts and prayers go to the families and everyone affected by this terrible loss.
 
 
Submitted by: Faye Collins, RN, colleague
05/12/2008
 
This is an immense loss for emergency care in our state. These three team members were the epitome of what it means to work in our profession; passionate, dedicated, intelligent, caring... My heartfelt sympathies go out to their families. They will be greatly missed.
 
 
Submitted by: Becky Losby, UW Health colleague
05/12/2008
 
I was honored to have worked with these wonderful men. Words can't describe the loss that is being felt within our medical community, and they are heroes for what they did in their lifetime and what they stood for. My prayers are with family and friends.
 
 
Submitted by: Katharine Hoernke, UW Health colleague
05/12/2008
 
In memory of the UW Med Flight Team * Darren Bean, MD * Mark Coyne, RN * Steve Lipperer Pilot * If I have been of service... If I have glimpsed more of the nature and essence of ultimate good... If I am inspired to reach wider horizons of thought and action... If I am at peace with myself... It has been a successful day. - Alex Noble
 
 
Submitted by: Erin
05/12/2008
 
I am a current student of Mark's EMT basic class and he will be missed by each and every one of us. He was an amazing teacher and I was looking forward to taking more classes with him. He made it fun to learn. When we take the national registry exam tonight and all pass it will be in his honor. It's a shame we won't be able to share our success with him. RIP and my thoughts are with all the victims' families.
 
 
Submitted by: Liz
05/12/2008
 
The dedicated people who fly Med Flight have provided such a necessary service over the years and this service is greatly appreciated. Know that all family and friends of the perished crew are in my thoughts and prayers. I did not know these people but I do know many people like them who put their lives on the line to help others. Know that each time I hear an ambulance go out or a Med Flight pass by over head I will pause to say a prayer for the person being transported and for the crew. May God Bless all the family members of Darren Bean, MD, Mark Coyne, RN, and pilot Steve Lipperer. I am so sorry for your great losses.
 
 
Submitted by: Christina, UW Health colleague
05/12/2008
 
Several years ago a family member of mine was transported to the UW burn unit via Med Flight from a small hospital several hours away. At the time, I assumed the crew were merely "doing their job." Now that I am an employee in the department of radiology, I truly understand the scope of their dedication to this profession. I worked with Dr. Bean on multiple occasions and found him to be compassionate as well as efficient when working with his patients and knowledgeable as well as diplomatic when working with staff. He was the kind of physician that you could only hope was involved in the care of your patient or yourself, should the situation arise. He managed to bring a sense of calm over the trauma room and turn every situation into a learning experience for all involved. Though I did not know Mark or Steve, I'm sure their commitment and dedication was unsurpassed. The UW is the most amazing institution for care and camaraderie among its employees. We truly are a family that feels the loss of three of our own. I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with these men. Their selfless acts and dedication to patient care will not be forgotten. God Bless.
 
 
Submitted by: Katie Currin, EMT-P
05/12/2008
 
I am a medic in Mecklenburg County in North Carolina. Darren and Stacey did their residency programs at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, and it was always a pleasure working with them. They were always willing to teach me and my colleagues, and I appreciate all I learned from them. My condolences go out to Stacey. I hope she always knows our hearts and prayers are with her and the children.
 
 
Submitted by: Chaplain Tom Chopp, colleague
05/12/2008
 
As the staff chaplain of Monroe Clinic, please accept our prayerful sympathy at the tragic and sudden deaths of Dr. Darren, Nurse Mark, and Pilot Steve, who made many trips to our own ER and ICU departments with their healing ministries of compassion and care for our critical patients. We will treasure their memories in our prayers and in our thoughts here at Monroe Clinic. May God our Great Physician bless them with eternal peace and comfort their families with inner peace and hope.
 
 
Submitted by: Gerard Graham, colleague
05/12/2008
 
A tragic loss to the patients and people of Wisconsin and our turbulent world. I flew with Mark. Without question one of the best nurses I have ever known. Wonderful teacher, and compassionate nurse. My heart goes out to his family and the rest of the Med Flight family. His life should be a constant teacher to us all: He dedicated his life to saving the lives of his fellow men. Would that the world was filled with like souls.
 
 
Submitted by: Vicky Clark, UW Health colleague
05/12/2008
 
As someone who has recently lost my spouse, I have very deep, sincere heartfelt sadness for the families, friends and colleagues. The families will need support for a long time... may they eventually find peace... I did not know these gentlemen, but I am sure they will be sorely missed.
 
 
Submitted by: Beth Junge, friend
05/12/2008
 
What do you say in a situation like this - it's just so beyond words. We know the Bean Family and are just heartsick for Stacey and the kids and the whole of their family. Our deepest sympathies go out to them and the families of Mark and Steve. What a huge loss for so many people. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
 
 
Submitted by: Art Florez
 
05/12/2008
 
From everyone at Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans, we send our deepest condolences to the families and friends of these fine men as well as everyone at the University of Wisconsin Hospital.
 
 
Submitted by: Krissy
 
05/12/2008
 
My heart goes out the families. On Aug. 4, 2007 I took my 46 year old husband to the Beloit Hospital emergency room and there was a UW Med Flight doctor working in the emergency room that day. He brings my husband back to life 3 times and the Med Flight helicopter crew got him to UW Hospital fast so he can get his heart surgery. He is alive today because of people like them. For their family and friends you are in our prayers.
 
 
Submitted by: Kristina Reavis
05/12/2008
 
I am so sorry for your loss. All of us in the air medical field share your grief. Please know you have the love and prayers of many.
- Kristina Reavis
Flight for Life Colorado
 
 
Submitted by: Ken Maraman
05/12/2008
 
May God be with all of you in this time of sadness. Please accept our heartfelt sympathies in your time of loss. May God protect us as we protect others. Fly safe and always keep the faith.
- Ken Maraman, RN/NREMT-P
Baptist Lifeflight, Pensacola, FL
 
 
Submitted by: Ann
05/12/2008
 
My deepest sympathies to the families, friends, and coworkers of your fallen loved ones. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this extremely difficult time.
- Ann
Mayo Clinic Medical Transport Flight Nurse
 
 
Submitted by: Lisa Anderson
05/12/2008
 
As a member of a nationally known pediatric health care team, I depend heavily on our hospital's transport crew. The folks who do that job are a special kind of person that doesn't come along every day. And while I didn't know your team, I know they must have been dedicated, professional, compassionate, experts at what they do and really neat people. My prayers for their families, team members, co-workers and to the patients and famiies they have transported. While these angels once walked the earth and flew the skies, they now guide and care for your patients in a different way.
 
 
Submitted by: Rawle and Tanya Seupaul, colleagues and friends
05/12/2008
 
Our deepest sympathies to you all. Thinking about you and your families as you get through this tragedy.
 
 
Submitted by: Carol Wilson, RN, colleague
05/12/2008
 
The news of this sad, sad accident has hit California. I was an RN with UW Madison hospital, working on the SOS team. Frequently I was called to help receive the patients or to assist in readying the patients Mark and Steve flew to the destination that would give them life. I also had the honor of working with Dr. Bean who worked with such calm, cool knowledge surpassed by none. I will carry the love of life and their quick, cool smile with me always. They were truly angels of the skies. Many prayers coming from the Los Angeles area for the families, coworkers, and patients who are here because of the love of life shared by these three. Thank you to the families of Dr. Bean, Mark, and Steve, for sharing your "guys" with so many.
 
 
Submitted by: Gail, colleague
05/12/2008
 
They're Gone. That concept is so hard to accept. May the incredible example that these 3 individuals set for us live on through us. They touched so many of our lives. It is my hope that we can all continue to serve our community with even a small spark of the passion/dedication they embodied. To the Family and Friends: You're in our hearts and prayers.
 
 
Submitted by: HP, colleague
05/12/2008
 
It is SO sad to lose three of the best in emergency medicine.
 
 
Submitted by: Linda, friend
05/12/2008
 
This accident has saddened our hearts at such a great loss. I have had contact with Dr. Bean on a few calls, one with a burn patient - it was amazing to watch him work with the patient. I have also gone to the UW conferences that Dr. Bean held and felt he was very dedicated to his job and patients, he and his crew will be greatly missed, and we will all pray for them and their families.
 
 
Submitted by: Patrick OBrien
05/12/2008
 
That this wonderful group has lost three of their finest is cause for sadness. Dying while helping others is truly giving ones all for others. Please salute those who have passed on while keeping them in close memory for a long time. Respectfully,
- Pat, son to a heart patient at UW Health
 
 
Submitted by: Pat Hans, friend
05/12/2008
 
To the Lipperer Family in Jefferson, Wisconsin. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
 
 
Submitted by: Tom Olshanski, UW Health colleague and friend
05/12/2008
 
I don't really know where to start with this... Med Flight has held a special place in my heart since I was a little boy. I used to love seeing the helicopter fly overhead and got to tour it a couple times when I was young. When I started work as an EMT the only class available for me to take was in Fort Atkinson (I live in Madison). Now I know that it was a blessing in disguise, because my instructor for the class was Mark. Mark was such a unique individual... very witty, very sassy, and very intelligent. I remember quite fondly imitating Mark on several occasions in class... in fact those are times I will never forget. I will never forget his "Markisms" that made our class burst into laughter. I will never forget that for some reason he was at my graduation this last December and made it a point to congratulate me. I will never forget how he used to playfully rib me because he had worked with my father so many years ago. I will never forget the lessons he taught me and the inspiration he was to all he came into contact with. It's a terrible loss for the whole state of Wisconsin and my heart and prayers go out to the family, co-workers, and close friends of everyone who was lost. God bless the whole Med Flight staff for their dedication and for future safe flights. I used to joke around with Mark that he looked just like Chris Elliott (the actor)... well I was wrong... Chris Elliott looks like Mark Coyne. All my love and prayers. P.S.- This one's for all those that knew Mark... "Put 'em in a corner, he's a HAT RACK!"
 
 
Submitted by: Diane
05/12/2008
 
Thoughts and prayers are with you as you mourn the loss of your team members! Peace.
 
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