Mike Enzi, former Wyoming senator, dies following a bicycle accident


Former Republican U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming died Monday “surrounded by his family” at a hospital in Loveland, Colorado, following a Friday night bicycle accident in Gillette, Wyoming, and a medical evacuation flight for additional treatment. He was 77.

Around 11 p.m. Mountain time, Mr. Enzi’s Twitter account delivered the news: “Former Wyoming U.S. Senator Mike Enzi passed away peacefully today surrounded by his family.”

A subsequent message added, “His family expresses their deep appreciation for all of the prayers, support and concern. They now ask for privacy and continued prayers during this difficult time.”

That message concluded: “The family is planning to hold a celebration of a life well-lived, with details to be shared later.”

The Enzi family earlier Monday said the four-term senator was at UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies. Media reports indicated he was still unconscious on Monday morning, having sustained a broken neck and broken ribs.

“One of the best basketball fans in the country needs giant prayers tonight after a bike wreck and life flight last night,” Mr. Enzi’s son, Brad, posted on Twitter Saturday. “… Any and all prayers and thoughts accepted, no denomination or creed preferred. Just lift him up.”

On the Senate floor Monday, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, said the chamber was indeed praying for Mr. Enzi.

“Mike’s colleagues on both sides of the aisle were sorry enough to see him depart the chamber and begin his well-earned next chapter just a few months ago,” Mr. McConnell said. “I know members on both sides are very much thinking of Mike at this time. We are praying for his health and for the entire Enzi family.”

Speaking with reporters Monday afternoon on Capitol Hill, Sen. Cynthia Lummis, the Wyoming Republican who succeeded Mr. Enzi in January, noted she had served with him in the Wyoming House of Representatives and the Wyoming Senate. And during her three terms in the Congress, Ms. Lummis was part of the Wyoming congressional delegation with Mr. Enzi, she added.

“As I always like to say in Wyoming I’ve been following him around like a puppy dog, pretty much my whole life,” an emotional Ms. Lummis told reporters. “We’ve been very dear friends for many, many decades and he’s [the] salt of the earth, [a] great guy. I prayed for him like crazy; I can’t get him off my mind.”

Sen. John Barrasso, Wyoming Republican and the state’s senior senator, tweeted Monday afternoon: “Please join Bobbi and me in praying for our dear friend Mike Enzi, his wife Diana, and their entire family.”

According to the Gillette, Wyoming, News Record newspaper, Mr. Enzi was found unresponsive on Morningside Drive. Apparently, Mr. Enzi’s Apple Watch had sent a distress call; at roughly the same time, police received a report of a man lying in the roadway.

A former mayor of Gillette, Mr. Enzi entered the Senate in 1997, following two terms in the House of Representatives. He earned a reputation as one of the chamber’s most conservative members, but one with friends across the political spectrum.

On social media, those he served and others who encountered him shared their grief and remembrances.

“I met him once when he came to a business plan competition” at the University of Wyoming, wrote Bridgette Braig, now a marketing professor at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. “He was in it for [Wyoming]. He showed up and genuinely cared. He wasn’t even my senator and I could see that. RIP Senator. You mattered,” she added.

David H. Peck, publisher of the Lovell Chronicle newspaper in Lovell, Wyoming, tweeted: “Our prayers are with Diana and Brad. Mike was a great and kind man. So very sad. He deserved a long and enjoyable retirement.”

In addition to his wife Diana and son Brad, Mr. Enzi’s survivors include his two daughters, Amy and Emily, and several grandchildren.

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