Parkites mourn physician killed in crash
May 13, 2008
Dr. Darren Bean died just as he lived; in the pursuit of saving lives.
A Park City High School (PCHS) alumnus and Medical Director for the Madison Wisconsin Fire Department, Bean was killed last Saturday when his medical flight helicopter crashed on the way back to Madison after transferring a patient. Bean was 37 years old and leaves behind his wife, Stacey, and their two children.
While a student in Park City, Bean was very accomplished both as a student and an athlete. On the athletic field, Bean excelled at several sports. Bob Burns, Bean’s football and tennis coach said, "Darren exemplified ‘Student-Athlete’ better than any student to graduate from PCHS in the last 30 years Darren was a three-year starter in football (All-State his senior year) as well as State Champion in tennis."
His doubles partner, and friend, Brodie Pollard said that Bean’s "academic success was a result of hard work, pure and simple. No one put forth more effort than Darren Bean. I can still hear him go after the tennis ball. Still see him playing football. Calling the defensive plays in the huddle, with more passion than anyone around."
After graduating from PCHS in 1989, Bean rode his academic and athletic prowess to the University of California at Davis where he played strong safety for the football team and laid the ground work for his medical career. He went on to study medicine at the University of Vermont and graduated in 1999. Three years later, Bean completed his residency at the Carolinas Medical Centre in Charlottesville, North Carolina.
In 2002, Bean began to practice as a medical flight physician and as an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Health. As a physician, Bean lobbied for new procedures in emergency situations. He stressed the importance of chest compressions for heart attack victims, ultimately saving lives. While fulfilling his duties as a medical flight physician, and Medical Director for the Madison Fire Department, Bean’s helicopter crashed in an unusual accident.
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Bean is survived by his mother and step-father. Brian Schiller and Danielle (Bean) Schiller both played active parts in the education community of Park City for years. Bean moved to Park City as a grade-schooler with his mother in 1978. While in Park City, the Beans met Brian Schiller who served as principal of Treasure Mountain Middle School for over a decade from the early-80’s into the early-90’s. Treasure Mountain Counselor, Mary Klismith recalled that Schiller was an excellent principal, a "really bright person, (who) brought the best out in everybody." The Schillers still reside in Park City part-time and continue as active members of the community, hosting parties and enjoying the summer life.
Of Bean, another high school classmate and friend, Jake Doilney, said, "Darren was a guy that did everything right. His dad died when he was young and it seemed to me that he used this as a motivation to be the best possible person in every way. He worked hard with his family, his profession, his hobbies, athletics, his health, and his education. His friends always seemed important to him. I look at Darren as one of the best people that I ever met; I really looked up to him. It does not surprise me that he died the way he did. He died in the line of his work, saving lives."
Although no plans are firmly set, friends of the Beans and Schillers would like to hold a Park City memorial in addition to the Wisconsin funeral.
Friends and Neighbors remember Darren Bean:
"Darren, worked so hard and was so genuine, sincere and kind He never had an unkind word, always had a smile on his face and put so much of himself into everything he did from academics to athletics." – Stacy (Eberlein) Meyer
"I think the key to Darren is that he was a truly outstanding person. I don’t think he’s ever had an enemy in his entire life and he had the unique ability to fit into several different social networks. A very dynamic guy who excelled in everything he did. (All these things) are often said about everyone who passes away. The difference is that with Darren they’re all true." – Brian Worley
"Darren was somebody I can sincerely say I looked up to. He was always there for all of us. (He) never, ever, had a bad thing to say about anybody, and gave 110 percent to anything he was doing. It is a tragedy, and he will be sadly missed. The world was a better place with Darren Bean in it." Brandon Adams
"My last encounter with him was here in Park City during the winter Olympics when he was volunteering as an MD. He had that same infectious smile and joyful personality that I remember (of) him since I met him at 9 years old. He was an exceptionally kind and caring person who will always be engrained into our memories." Michael Spencer
"Darren was the first person I met in Park City back in 1978, and was one of those magnetic people you were just drawn to. Darren was gifted at everything he did, from starring on the High school football team, to getting A’s in school. He had always shown generosity, compassion and drive, and that is why he was loved by so many, and why he went on to be a surgeon who dedicated his life to helping others." Sean Smith