UW Helicopter Crash Kills Three Near LaCrosse, Wisconsin


Posted on 12th May 2008 by Gordon Johnson in Uncategorized

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When we first created https://waiting.com in 1997, we were working with a trauma nurse from Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in organizing and fact checking the page. At the time, I had asked her what the biggest break through which had occurred over the years in saving lives for severe brain injury. I had expected her to say the CT Scan which allows doctors to see the killer of increased intracranial pressure before it kills, or some other imaging or pressure related device. She surprised me with her answer: Flight for Life helicopters.

It was her belief that it was the Flight for Life Helicopters that rushed severely brain injured persons to the regional trauma center where she worked, that enabled all of the rest of modern medical science to intervene before death, or before more brain damage occurred. As being old enough to have watched every episode of MASH, it was easy for me to grasp the importance of what she was saying.

Ironically, I didn’t appreciate until I started doing death and brain injury cases from the aviation liability end, just how much those doctors and nurses who staffed those Flight for Life helicopters, risked their life to save the brain injured. Saturday night, three more died in this valiant cause in a helicopter crash near LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Dead are Dr. Darren Bean, nurse Mark Coyne, both of University of Wisconsin Hospitals and the helicopter pilot, Steve Lipperer. For more details, click here.

Today, all of those in the brain injury community should have a day of remembrance for the brave medical personnel and pilots who risk their life to save so many from death and further disability. Each time you see a Flight for Life, say a salute or a prayer for those who serve on board. Perhaps we can all plant a tree or a flower in honor.