Family copes, seeks help after death of father, husband; Riverside Drive motorcycle accident

John Enyart and his sister, Tayler receive the flag and coin at their father's funeral service July 2, 2014|Photo courtesy of Tayler Enyart, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — It has been just over a month since a 47-year-old Washington man died in a motorcycle accident at the intersection of 2450 East and Riverside Drive in St. George, and the Enyart family is coping with his death and the financial strain it has caused them.

On June 28, James “Dutch” Enyart was hit head-on while riding with two of his friends, also on motorcycles. A jeep struck a Ford Ranger and the motorcycles, one of which carried Dutch Enyart who was ejected, impacted the jeep and then the pavement, suffering numerous injuries that led to his death including bleeding within the brain.

Read the story here:  One man dead, one in surgery after motorcycle trio collision

Dutch’s friends, Steve Pinkard and Larry Young, were the other two motorcycle riders, Dutch Enyart’s widow Heather Enyart said. Young suffered a leg injury that required surgery and is expected to make full recovery. Pinkard was not injured and was present to support the Enyart family in their time of need the night of the accident.

The driver of the jeep was cited for distracted driving, which was not due to cellphone use, St. George Police Sgt. Sam Despain said. Heather Enyart said he came to the hospital and has shown concern and attention in the aftermath of the accident.

One ride without a helmet

It was  a rare instance that Dutch Enyart rode without a helmet that day, his oldest daughter Tayler Enyart said. He was an extremely safe driver with a garage full of helmets and gear, she said.

“He recently had minor surgery to remove cysts on his scalp. Wearing a helmet was very painful for him, but riding his motorcycle, he said, was his ‘sanity’ –  not his way to let loose or relax,” Tayler Enyart said, “but his actual sanity. He loved riding.”


The Enyart family is looking for a way to move on in the aftermath of their loss.

“Our family is coping better than we all expected,” Tayler Enyart said. “Dad was the glue, light, and rock of our family, and nobody expected we’d lose him until he was over 100 years old.”

Duke Enyart with his youngest daughter, Wren in Washington, Utah, summer 2014|Photo courtesy Tayler Enyart, St. George News
Dutch Enyart with his granddaughter, Elena in Boise, Idaho, August 2013|Photo courtesy Tayler Enyart, St. George News

She remembers hoping it was all just a mistake when she crossed two state lines traveling from her home in California to Utah on hearing the news of her father’s accident, she said.

“The whole family was piled into the living room, sitting together, either staring off into space in silence, or making random, bad jokes. We felt like we were dealing with grief in the weirdest way.”

Months later the family is still in shock.

“I’ve cried at random times, but mostly I don’t really feel anything at all,” Tayler Enyart said. “I’m just kind of existing and going through the motions of life.”

Dutch Enyart’s daughter, Jessica Enyart, said her friends don’t know how to react to her situation and have let her do her own thing.

“After the loss, I lost my phone and,” she said, “not being sure when I’ll be able to get another one, it has been harder to stay in contact with my family.”

Her workplace has been lenient.

“They’re very understanding and now let me work from home,” Jessica Enyart said, “which is great because I get to spend a lot more time with my boyfriend who has been my main support.”

Dutch Enyart was known for bending over backwards for his family.

“Twice, he rescued me from my bad decisions,” Tayler Enyart said. “He would have dropped everything and crossed two state lines to pick me up in the middle of the night. He would have done anything for his kids, all of us.”

Dutch Enyart is remembered as a patriot, Marine and a strong, faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Help and fundraising

Since the death of her father, Tayler Enyart has established a GoFundMe Web page entitled Support Dutch’s Family.

An account at the Wells Fargo Bank in St. George is set for those wanting to donate to Dutch’s widow, Heather Enyart, and their three minor children. Interested contributors can go to the bank and request to donate under Dutch Enyart, Dutch James Enyart or James Enyart.

“Because my dad, at age 47, didn’t have life insurance, had a Ph.D., tens of thousands of dollars in debt and ownership of a little strip mall in Cedar City that has a payment coming due,” Tayler Enyart said, “we knew we couldn’t handle it.”

The funeral cost $6,000, she said, which the family had to pay up front.

“My dad’s best friend put it all on his credit card at the last minute,” Tayler Enyart said of the funeral expenses. “My stepmom now has three kids to raise by herself and she now has the burden of all my father’s debt while raising the kids.”

Heather Enyart is currently a student as are two of her stepdaughters, all of who are living off student loans.

She said her ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has reached out as well as the Harley Owners Group, a motorcycle group Dutch Enyart participated in, by doing a fundraising ride to help the  family.

The family is grateful to those willing to help and donate.

“We hope to be able to pay it forward soon,” Tayler Enyart said.

Grief continues

For Heather Enyart, each day is still a struggle as she lost her best friend.

“Losing someone like that is so hard,” she said.

Marines lay the U.S.flag over Duke Enyart's grave July 2, 2014 in St. George, Utah |Photo Courtesy Tayler Enyart, St. George News
Marines lay the U.S.flag over Duke Enyart’s grave July 2, 2014 in St. George, Utah |Photo Courtesy Tayler Enyart, St. George News

Coming to the realization every day that her father is no longer with her has been difficult for Tayler Enyart.

For her birthday, she took her daughter to see “Maleficent.” Afterward they went to a photo booth to take pictures that, she said, turned out simply terrible.

“On my way home, I thought to myself, ‘man, dad is the only person on earth who would appreciate these,’” she said. “Then I made a mental note to surprise mail them to him, and call him to chat when I got home.”

It was a few minutes later she remembered he was gone, and she started sobbing.

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  • bob August 9, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    Accident or not, that guy that ran him down should be doing time…

    • Dee August 9, 2014 at 7:26 pm

      Well remember your advice Bob the next time you make a mistake.

      • Responsibility? August 10, 2014 at 8:04 am

        In an area where the predominant religion touts responsibility and obligation it amazes me how many people can brush off personal responsibility and claim carelessness causing death can be overlooked.

        • BOBBER August 10, 2014 at 12:36 pm

          I guess if you’ve done a mission and are a perfect member of THE LARD’S CHURCH then you can get away with a lot!

          • Responsibility? August 10, 2014 at 11:52 pm

            Bobber, my comment was not about the driver involved, but the people making comments. It’s one thing to cop out yourself, but I’m surprised at the lenient attitude from a crowd known to be rather judgmental.

          • BOBBER August 11, 2014 at 6:18 pm

            well, its a strange thing…

          • assumemuch October 12, 2014 at 9:21 am

            Exscuse me! I am sorry I dont know where you get your info but the driver isnt an active member of the church amd never served a mission. He is a young guy who lost both his parents and after totalling his car in this accident eventually lost his job and without his own parents to help him ended up homeless for a few months until I personally paid for transportation to my family members house in california, where he getting his life back together. He is racked with guilt and wishes he could go back in time and not glance down at papers fAlling off his lap while he was driving. He knows what its like to loose not only one but both his parents and it is eating him Up inside that he caused someone else to loose their parent. So dont assume you know anything about him. It mAkes you look like an idiot.

      • PatriotJane August 10, 2014 at 8:59 pm

        I don’t believe anyone ran anyone down. A jeep driver was distracted and hit another car which got into his lane and he landed on the hood. Read it again.

        • Responsibility? August 10, 2014 at 11:46 pm

          Way to try and minimize the driver’s responsibility.

          • anna thomas August 29, 2014 at 11:19 am

            How is it minimizing ? Patriot stated the facts- a distracted driver hit a motocyclist. No one is saying it wasn’t the drivers fault, but for craps sake, none of us are perfect, we have all looked away from the road for a second while driving, most of us have just been lucky nothing happened.

  • Matthew Sevald August 9, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    The title “Marine” should be capitalized.
    Semper Fi Devil

    • Joyce Kuzmanic August 10, 2014 at 6:05 am

      You are correct, it is done, thank you Matthew, and Semper Fi back atcha. Our apologies, no disrespect intended.
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

  • Dave August 9, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    That was a great article Holly. Prayers for the family.

  • The Rest Of The Story August 10, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    It never ceases to amaze me just how stingy the LDS religion is with its own people. The church is right there with its hands out to collect tithes and fast offerings. Yet when people are in need, they get some minor kindness from ward members and that’s it.

    I’m not a member but earlier this year someone I know very well–elderly lady–was injured in a fall in her home. The ward men were going to build her a ramp to use when she got out of rehab but they were too busy with their own obligations to take time to do it. This I do not fault because everyone has lives to lead. But…

    The cost of having a ramp professionally built was prohibitive for the elderly lady and her husband (who is suffering of Alzheimer’s). Now this lady has been a member of the church for decades, earned a high income for many of them and paid tithes faithfully. I understand the ward men were unable to provide the ramp on a volunteer basis. Do you think the church could cough up for a ramp when needed? Nope. Not a chance. So, what did this lady get? A week of dinners provided by Relief Society when she got home from hospital. That’s it. For decades of hard work for the church, temple service, ward callings, and tens of thousands of tithes and offerings.

    I lost ALL respect for the LDS church after that. Even the Amish take care of their own. The LDS just want your money…and your mind.

    • BOBBER August 11, 2014 at 6:17 pm

      Not only that, they fired all their paid janitorial staff to implement the “every member a toilet cleaner” policy… cheap cheap cheap

    • Not a Bishops Wife. August 12, 2014 at 4:46 am

      I agree completely. I’m not a Mormon and don’t plan on becoming one any time soon but I’ve lived here for a decade and I can honestly say that many of the “LDS” people I’ve met around here are the most self righteous people I’ve ever met. Their ward meetings are like one big “I’m better then you, your friends, my friends, you family and my family because I gave my 10% and voted Republican” in The Relief Society meetings I’ve attended they all talked about how they could help someone else, money they could donate, etc and all of them were simply full of ideas which is GREAT! Unfortunately when push came to shove almost all of them were to busy to roll up their sleeves and do some good for someone in need. The Mormon Church as a whole touts their contributions to charities the world over but what are they doing. here? Building temples. These temples are building on which the church spares no expense of course. Now I don”t know about anyone else here but it is my opinion that the church could afford to spend less money on temples and recruitment of new members and more money on helping the needy both here and abroad. That won’t ever happen though because The Mormon church isn’t a church at all,in fact it is nothing more then a annoying cult that took off. The proof is in the many millions of stories about such instances as the times elderly church members didn’t get ramps because other members were to busy leading their own lives to take a minute to think about another person. Just sayin’

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