LAWAI —A Koloa man died Wednesday after being electrocuted while on a construction site in Lawai, officials confirmed Thursday.
Gary Wiser, the owner of Wiser Builders Incorporated, was working on a home with a crew of three other men moving trusses from the ground to the top of the house Wednesday around 10 a.m., according to reports. He was 46.
Wiser was holding a cable connected to a boom truck crane, but when the truck got too close to an overhead power line, the electricity jumped from the overhead electrical wire to the crane cable, according to reports.
That’s when Wiser collapsed and bystanders attempted CPR for about 10 to 15 minutes until medics arrived, according to reports.
Wiser had three people, including himself, working on the trusses project. One person was operating the crane, another was on the ground moving the stack of trusses and Wiser was on the cable.
Wiser was rushed to the hospital where doctors attempted to resuscitate him, according to reports.
After failed attempts, Wiser died at Wilcox Memorial Hospital later that morning.
Vince Huntley said it was his home that Wiser was contracted to build. He called Wiser a buddy and said he knew him for about a year.
“Gary was a charger in life,” Huntley said. “I loved his energy in building. My house was just beginning to take shape and he had it looking great. He helped design my house and then now was building it. He had great positive energy that was not slowed by obstacles. I am sad with his passing. I hope I can complete my house and do justice to his memory by making it up to his standards.”
Gary was very fun loving, light-hearted about life and meticulous about his work, said Kami King, friend of Wiser’s and office manager at Wiser Builders Inc.
“He took his work seriously,” King said. “He had to have everything done right. If something was just an inch off, he’d work at it until it was right. I would tease him about it. It was cute.”
She called Wiser “old-generation” in the way that “if you did something, you did it right.”
“He didn’t do things half-assed,” she said. “He had a charm about him, but he was bold.”
Wiser, who had 20 years of homebuilding experience, was a contractor in California and Montana before moving to Hawaii.
“He loved his work,” King said. “He loved the idea of building something out of nothing. He got excited about it. He really loved what he did. He could build houses that were simple or he could build houses that were intricate.”
Wiser’s friend and accountant, Stephanie Cox, said he was one of those guys who “lived life to the fullest” and “had a big heart.”
“He loved the Raiders,” Cox said laughing. “That was definitely his thing. He had stickers all over his truck. That was what he was known for.”
But she said she still hadn’t had time to process his passing.
“It’s been difficult,” she said. “And challenging. It’s been rough.”
King said that everything was happening so fast and she had barely had time to think about his death.
“It’s been hard. It’s been an up and down wave,” King said. “I’ve had to deal with a lot of business stuff and some roaches that have come out of the woodwork. It’s been very exhausting. I am emotionally drained because of all this. I’m just doing the best that I can.”
Cox said his staff was taking it pretty hard because the three men who were working with Wiser at the site Wednesday witnessed his death.
“It was a tight-knit crew — like a family,” King said. “They are having a really hard time with this.”
Cox and King will be meeting with Wiser’s family, who are flying in from the Mainland, today for the first time.
King said she will be showing Wiser’s mother some of the homes he’s built around the island.
“So she can be proud of her son,” King said. “It’s a lot of information for a mother to take in. She’s having a hard time. I’m a mother, and I just couldn’t imagine what it’s like.”
Wiser leaves behind a son, a daughter and a grandson.