Remembering our team: Eighth anniversary of tragic Survival Flight crash

June 3, 2015  //  FOUND IN: Announcements, Our Employees,

On June 4, 2007, the U-M Health System lost six heroes. These men, who died when their plane crashed into Lake Michigan, will always be remembered for their dedication and selflessness.

The group was traveling to UMHS after they procured a pair of lungs for transplantation. On the flight were David Ashburn, M.D., a fellow (physician-in-training) in cardiothoracic surgery; Richard Chenault ll, a transplant donation specialist with the U-M Transplant Program; Dennis Hoyes, a Marlin air pilot; Ricky (Rick) LaPensee, a transplant donation specialist with the U-M Transplant Program; Bill Serra, a Marlin air pilot; and Martinus (Martin) Spoor, M.D., a cardiac surgeon who had been on the U-M faculty since 2003.survivalflightmemorial1-300x167

Each of these men was intimately involved in helping and giving to others. You can read their individual biographies and stories here.

In 2009, a sculpture was created by Ann Arbor native and University alum Douglas Hollis to memorialize the U-M transplant team. The sculpture was erected in a garden outside University Hospital to be a place of remembrance and rededication to the ongoing work survivalflightmemorial2-300x167of organ transplantation and health care. You can watch a video about the memorial sculpture here.

To remember the team:

  • Floral arrangements will be placed in the front lobby and Level 2 entrance of the Cardiovascular Center.
  • A floral arrangement has been placed in the lobby of University Hospital near the window overlooking the sculpture
  • The annual Survival Flight Safety Day event is being held as part of our commitment to safety training in all modes of transportation. It includes didactic and practical sessions covering all emergency procedures and normal operations. The program takes place at Survival Flight’s Livingston County Base in Howell.