Postings 151-200: 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: Wendy Williams
05/12/2008
 
I was saddened to hear of the loss of your family, friends and coworkers in this tragic accident. We mourn your loss with you.
- Wendy Williams
Gundersen Lutheran
 
 
Submitted by: Julie Gilbert-Kasper, RN, CEN, colleague
05/12/2008
 
As a fellow flight nurse, I can only imagine what the Med Flight Program and all related are going through. Please know that you are in our hearts and prayers!
- Julie Gilbert-Kasper, RN, CEN WFUBMC
AirCare, Winston-Salem, NC
 
 
Submitted by: UW Health DeForest staff, colleagues 
05/12/2008
 
The incredible impact that Dr. Bean, Mark Coyne and Steve Lipperer had in their dedication to their professions is heartwarmingly evident by the words of those who knew them best. It lives on in the patients, students, colleagues, family and friends who knew and will remember them. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
 
 
Submitted by: Ken Geen, UW Health colleague
05/12/2008
 
In this time in history, so many things are taken for granted. Modern medicine, space flight, air travel... It is not until something tragic happens that you take a deep breath and truly appreciate many things that we take for granted every day. Since Med Flight started, I've always looked to the sky and been proud to think and say, "that's our Med Flight" taking the miracle of flight and the talent and dedication of the team in that helicopter for granted. I will never make that mistake again. The loss of this team extends not only from our hospital, but as shown by comments left, throughout the country. Today I will once again look to the sky and remember it as the day Med Flight did not fly and I forever will remember why. God bless you Darren, Mark and Steve and may your families take comfort in knowing your passing was in the service of helping others.
 
 
Submitted by: Gwen, colleague
05/12/2008
 
This is a very, very tragic loss. My heart goes out to their families and friends. They certainly need to be honored for all their excellence and dedication to the health of others.
 
 
Submitted by: Charlotte
05/12/2008
 
My thoughts and prayers are with the families and co-workers of the crew members. It is such a tragic loss.
 
 
Submitted by: Kim Yuds, UW Health colleague
05/12/2008
 
My thoughts and prayers are with all families. They lost loved ones who everyday helped save so many people just doing what they did. This is such a great loss and my heart goes out to all of you!
 
 
Submitted by: Barb Bulman
05/12/2008
 
I am truly saddened by this tragic accident. I work at Gundersen Lutheran and see our flight crew daily, saving the lives of others as they risk their own, which is the scenario with your crew as well. So very sad. My heart goes out to the families, friends and the staff of UW Madison.
- Barb Bulman
Gundersen Lutheran
 
 
Submitted by: Jen, colleague
05/12/2008
 
My condolences are with all.
 
 
Submitted by: Brandice
05/12/2008
 
My thoughts and prayers go out to their families and friends. I didn't know them and they didn't know me, but I know they'll be missed. I wanted to thank them for all that they did.
 
 
Submitted by: Paula Bakalars
05/12/2008
 
My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the Med Flight Crew whom lost their lives. They truly were heroes and will forever be remembered for the awesome work that they have done.
 
 
Submitted by: Robin Wills
05/12/2008
 
I would like to send out my condolences to the family and friends. I am truly and deeply sorry for your lost. I did not know them personally but have heard a great deal about them and they were truly heroes in my heart.
 
 
Submitted by: Karen Nowak
05/12/2008
 
It is hard to understand why these lives were taken when they have saved so many other lives. My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with you and your families.
 
 
Submitted by: Karl
05/12/2008
 
We brought our son to the emergency room in the middle of the night several years ago. He had great pain due to an ear infection. Darren saw our son that night. He was great with our young child and gave reassurances to my wife and I. While we met him only briefly, we will never forget his caring attitude. It was clear that he loved what he did. It meant quite a bit to us as I am sure his dedication and kindness has meant to so many other patients and families.
 
 
Submitted by: Shiva, colleague
05/12/2008
 
Darren, Mark and Steve, you will live in our hearts forever. "If there are men who contain a soul without frontiers, a brow scattered with universal hair, covered with horizons, ships, and mountain chains, with sand and with snow, then you are one of those. Around your bones, the olive groves will grow, unfolding their iron roots in the ground, embracing men universally, faithfully." "Si hay hombres que contienen un alma sin fronteras, una esparcida frente de mundiales cabellos, cubierta de horizontes, barcos y cordilleras, con arena y con nieve, tú eres uno de aquellos. A través de tus huesos irán los olivares desplegando en tierra sus más férreas raíces, abrazando a los hombres universal, fielmente." - Miguel Hernández, Spanish poet
 
 
Submitted by: Debi
05/12/2008
 
I was devastated to hear about the crash. The 3 crew members were part of our health community family, and we will mourn their loss with you. God Bless.
 
 
Submitted by: Becky
05/12/2008
 
I can't say how sorry I am for the loss of the Med Flight crew. It really hits home the risk they take when making those flights to help save others. They will never be forgotten. My prayers to their families and co-workers.
 
 
Submitted by: Jessica
05/12/2008
 
My heart breaks for the families, and I have such admiration for these men. A thank you is just not enough for them. May God bless them and their families.
 
 
Submitted by: Michael Dolan
05/12/2008
 
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of the crew. They gave their lives while helping others; there is no greater sacrifice.
 
 
Submitted by: John
05/12/2008
 
I am very sorry for the loss of your colleagues. May their courage help carry you through these sad times.
 
 
Submitted by: Pam Haller
05/12/2008
 
Your family, friends and co-workers are in my thoughts and prayers. As is any Med-Air ambulance teams, they were heroes to many.
 
 
Submitted by: Sara
05/12/2008
 
I am so terribly sorry about your loss. These men were heroes. We were fortunate for their service to the patients in Wisconsin. I will be remembering them in my prayers, as well as their friends and families. Again, I am so deeply saddened by this tragic loss. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. 
- Sara, nurse
Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center
 
 
Submitted by: Nicholle, RN
05/12/2008
 
Family and friends of those lost are in our thoughts and prayers at Gundersen Lutheran. 
- Nicholle, RN
Gundersen Lutheran
 
 
Submitted by: Janice Willger
05/12/2008
 
My sincere condolences to the families of such a wonderful crew who truly risked their lives for others. Our father has flown as a patient with Med Flight and has commented numerous times on the compassion that he received while in their care. Our prayers and thoughts are with all of you who have been touched by such a wonderful crew.
 
 
Submitted by: Bonnie Steidl
05/12/2008
 
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of these wonderful men. As a Gundersen Lutheran employee I often see our MedLink helicopter fly off to assist patients and always hope they return safely. Know that the staff at Gundersen Lutheran are mourning your loss and praying for all of you. Words cannot express my sincere sorrow for your organization and for family members.
- Bonnie Steidl
Gundersen Lutheran
 
 
Submitted by: William Salzmann, colleague
05/12/2008
 
I am a Lieutenant with the Middleton Fire District. On many occasions I have worked at accident scenes where the Med Flight team was called in. You must understand, Med Flight is only called in when the patient is in such bad shape that if they don't get to the hospital right now, they won't make it. Med Flight and the Med Flight staff are the only hope that these patients have. I can't explain the relief we feel when we hear those rotor blades coming or our appreciation for the professionalism that the Med Flight staff invariably shows at those scenes. Their skill is unsurpassed, as is their dedication. The legacy of life that they leave behind ensures that they will never be forgotten. Well done, Med Flight. Return to base.
 
 
Submitted by: Nancee Brevig
05/12/2008
 
I worked for many years in the Emergerency Room at Gundersen Lutheran. I have met many dedicated, caring people from other flight teams over those years. My thoughts and prayers are with you as a work family and with the families of these wonderful individuals. May God Bless and comfort all.
 
 
Submitted by: Janet
05/12/2008
 
To the family members, co-workers and friends of the Med Flight crew members: You are all in my prayers for God's comfort and strength during these sad and difficult days. Their dedication to their professions and their many acts of heroism will be remembered and honored.
 
 
Submitted by: Ed Rupert, colleague
05/12/2008
 
Air Methods Community Based Division Region 3 offers our sincerest sympathies on the loss of the Med Flight crew yesterday. We stand with you in your grief. May these three brave souls rest in peace and their families be comforted.
- Ed Rupert, Vice President
Air Methods Community Based Division Region 3
 
Submitted by: Stephanie Iverson
05/12/2008
 
My heart goes out to the family, friends and UW Health Care family in the loss of such a dedicated team. You are all in our prayers during this difficult time.
- Stephanie Iverson
Dermatology, Gundersen Lutheran
 
 
Submitted by: An EMT-P, name not provided, colleague
05/12/2008
 
I cannot begin to express how tragic this is. I didn't have the pleasure of knowing Mark or Steve, but I have worked with Dr. Bean numerous times in several of the recent changes coming to EMS in the near future. He was a phenomenal teacher. The passion Dr. Bean had for his career and his excitement for the improvements coming to the EMS world was contagious. It is a great tragedy to lose him, not only in the EMS world, but for his family and friends even more so. My prayers and thoughts are with all of the families and friends of these men. Dr. Bean will be greatly missed in the UW ER which is where I crossed paths with him the most. I imagine Mark and Steve also did great work in the part of the Med Flight team with their experience they were able to provide to make this a great group. God Bless all EMS/public service people who know the dangers that are faced everyday we go to work to help others.
 
 
Submitted by: Name not provided
05/12/2008
 
A terrible tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of these extraordinary individuals, who put their lives on the line to help out others in need.
 
 
Submitted by: Cheryl, colleague
05/12/2008
 
Having worked closely with our Med Link staff - the loss of these individuals is extremely tragic. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families, friends and colleagues of these fine men. From the sound of the news reports, they died doing what they enjoyed doing - extending themselves to help others.
 
 
Submitted by: Paulette Schmidt
05/12/2008
 
To us mere humans, they crashed and died, but to God, 3 angels flew home.
 
 
Submitted by: Linda Daube, colleague
05/12/2008
 
My prayers have included the families of Darren, Mark and Steve. This has been an enormous loss to them, to UW Health and the entire medical community.
 
 
Submitted by: Tom
05/12/2008
 
My thoughts and prayers are with the crew and family members.
 
 
Submitted by: Stephen Webster, MD
05/12/2008
 
My deepest sympathy and prayers go to the families of our colleagues in Wisconsin Health Care who were lost in this tragic accident. Their dedication to the health of the citizens of Wisconsin and this tri-state area is truly a model that we all try to attain. As we continue in our professional roles, we dedicate our activities to the memories of these colleagues. All our colleagues at UW Medicine are in our prayer list.
 
 
Submitted by: Kay
05/12/2008
 
My deepest sympathy to the friends and family of the Med Flight team. I have to believe these three individuals died doing something they loved.
- Kay
Gundersen-Lutheran
 
 
Submitted by: Karen
05/12/2008
 
I was so sorry to hear of the tragic loss of lives on Saturday night! They have all died heroes!
 
 
Submitted by: Kerri Eggen, RN
05/12/2008
 
My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. You are surrounded with love and support from friends and other health care providers.
- Kerri Eggen, RN
Gundersen Lutheran-Onalaska
 
 
Submitted by: Karen
05/12/2008
 
We here in Iowa also share in the shock and sadness at the loss of these special Health Care Workers. We extend our sympathy to the families and co-workers of these individuals.
 
 
Submitted by: Betsy Peterson, colleague
05/12/2008
 
As a resident in pediatrics, I thoroughly enjoyed working with Dr. Darren Bean. He was an excellent teacher, always excited to show us something interesting or new. He was passionate about emergency medicine and teaching. He even won the Pediatrics Faculty Teaching award, usually given to attendings in Pediatrics, but we all learned so much from him that we voted for him. Now that I am in private practice in Beaver Dam, I very much appreciated the Med Flight crew arriving to pick up a very sick child to transport to UW Hospital. Mark Coyne was very caring, attentive to the young children, and excellent in his work with the patients and their parents. These three will be missed for their passion for their work and from the many very sick patients they helped through the years.
 
 
Submitted by: Sandy S., colleague
05/12/2008
 
My thoughts and prayers are with all of the staff at UW during this difficult time. May you have strength to endure this journey.
 
 
Submitted by: Tammy Ree
05/12/2008
 
Such a tragic loss of such a gifted team. My thoughts and prayers are with your families, friends and working community. All God's Blessings!
 
 
Submitted by: Kristi Leis
05/12/2008
 
I work for Gundersen Lutheran and wanted to send my deepest condolences to the family, friends, and co-workers of the flight crew. They are all in my thoughts and prayers.
- Kristi Leis
Gundersen Lutheran
 
 
Submitted by: Sheila Chapel, colleague
05/12/2008
 
My heart goes out to the family and friends of the Med Flight crew members that were tragically lost this past weekend. Their unselfish dedication to helping those in need is an inspiration to us all! May they rest in peace.
- Sheila Chapel
Gundersen Lutheran
 
 
Submitted by: Susan Schams
05/12/2008
 
How sad and tragic. My thoughts and prayers are with the families. God Bless.
 
 
Submitted by: Susan Adams
05/12/2008
 
What sad news on public radio about the crash of your medical helicopter and loss of life. We are still recovering from the crash of our Survival Flight last June. The hospital is a close knit group of people and I hope you can draw on the strengths of each other. My deepest condolences to the families and entire U of W community.
- Susan Adams
Ann Arbor, Michigan
 
 
Submitted by: Liz
05/12/2008
 
While I did not know these men, my heart broke at the news. This is a tragedy, that they do so much for others, and lose their lives while doing that duty. My thoughts and prayers go to their families, friends and all who worked with them.
 
 
Submitted by: Lisa Larson
05/12/2008
 
I just want to send my condolences to the family members and coworkers of these fine men. We can't thank them enough for their dedication to helping those in need. They are people we all look up to, whether we know them personally or not. God Bless!
 
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