When road-rage turns into manslaughter


Queensland road-rage manslaughter trial continues

Queensland road-rage manslaughter trial continues

Tamate Heke outside court in Brisbane. (AAP)

Eyewitnesses to the death of a man knocked into the path of a garbage truck will give evidence in the manslaughter trial of a factory worker who allegedly punched him on a Queensland motorway.

The case against Tamate Heke opened in the Brisbane Supreme Court on Monday and will centre around footage of the alleged attack on the Gateway Motorway on December 1, 2015.

Heke is defending charges of manslaughter and unlawful striking, arguing he was defending himself against Shane Merrigan, who he claims tailgated him and challenged him to pull over.

Defence barrister Joshua Fenton said his client had been pushed twice and punched in the face before striking Mr Merrigan, who was run over by a 13.7-tonne garbage truck.

During an interview with police after Mr Merrigan’s death, Heke told investigators he wanted him to “back off”.

But crown prosecutor David Meredith says the factory worker’s attack on Mr Merrigan was unprovoked.

“Shane Merrigan did not even touch him,” he said.


The truck driver who ran over Mr Merrigan gave evidence briefly on Monday, telling the court he could not avoid him.

Several eyewitnesses are due to give evidence during an expected two-week trial before Justice Peter Applegarth.

Shane Merrigan. (Supplied)
Shane Merrigan. (Supplied) @ninenews

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