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.”
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.
For Heather Enyart, each day is still a struggle as she lost her best friend.
“Losing someone like that is so hard,” she said.
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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