Kiwi man Tamate Heke stands trial for Brisbane road-rage death

A Kiwi motorist was left shaking and crying on the side of a Brisbane motorway after a moment of road rage turned fatal. Now, Tamate Heke is on trial for manslaughter.

He was about to fly home to marry his partner in New Zealand but the 38-year-old spent his wedding day in jail.

It was just before Christmas in 2015 - a case of road rage gone horribly wrong. Heke argued on the motorway verge with Shane Merrigan, before pushing the 50-year-old who fell in front of a truck.

The court heard the Kiwi was tailgated by Merrigan before both cars pulled over.

For about 13 seconds the pair faced each other, before the Crown says Heke struck a "heavy blow" and Mr Merrigan fell back onto the road.

Mr Merrigan was instantly killed by a truck travelling 90 kilometres an hour.

"He pushed me," Heke told witnesses at the scene. "So I pushed him back. I tried to grab him. I didn't mean it."

Heke's lawyer says his client never wanted a fight.

The court heard Heke was so distraught he paced up and down with his head in his hands, and dry-retched when he heard Mr Merrigan had died.

Heke was originally charged with murder but could now be convicted of either manslaughter or unlawful striking causing death.

Heke has pleaded not guilty to both.