Throwback Thursday: WMC rallies to support families of co-workers killed in plane crash, May 1993

By Kristy Bleizeffer May 3, 2018

Thirty-three WMC employees washed cars to raise money for the families of two co-workers killed in a plane crash. (From the May 1993 issue of Hi-Lites.)

The May 1993 issue of Hi-Lites, WMC’s employee newsletter, featured a story of how the hospital used a personal tragedy to bring the community together.

On April 6, 1993, four men died when a Mitsubishi MU2 air ambulance crashed while transporting a Riverton heart attack victim to Wyoming Medical Center, according to the Casper Star-Tribune. Two of the men—paramedic Dennis Patrick and emergency room nurse Tom Wolf – worked at WMC. The plane crashed about 12 miles west of Natrona County International Airport during a spring snowstorm. Our own WMC Lifeflight crew found the wreckage 12 hours later.

Chris Sprague, a WMC certified nursing assistant, didn’t know any of the passengers, but she didn’t want the story to end with their deaths. She and a friend started a community-wide fund drive that raised more than $4,300 in one day for the families of the deceased. For its part, Wyoming Medical Center manned six car washes around town to raise donations for the effort.

“Mike and I really didn’t know Dennis Patrick or Tom Wolf, but we knew they had to be caring and loving people to do the jobs they did,” Chris told Hi-Lites in 1993. “And they were fellow employees who gave their lives. We wanted to give something back.”

Read the full Hi-Lites story below.

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Throwback Thursday looks back on Wyoming Medical Center’s long, rich history in Natrona County. Special thanks to the Casper College Western History Center, which archives our vast collection of newspaper articles, photographs and other memorabilia; and to "Wyoming Medical Center: A Centennial History," by Rebecca A. Hunt, Ph.D. Information is also collected from a collection of Hi-Lites, Wyoming Medical Center's employee newsletter, dating from 1982-1996.