They were neighbours at a Clinton trailer park who met at a local bar, played a friendly game of pool and drank draft beer.
Later that night Michael Ward was found heaped up in the middle of the Cariboo Highway, where he was at first mistaken for a pile of garbage by a trucker bearing down on him.
Crown prosecutor Bernie Caffaro told a B.C. Supreme Court jury Monday the evidence will show that Ward was assaulted without provocation by Tadas Rimdzius, and abandoned in the middle of the roadway on Oct. 26, 2011.
Rimdzius, 65, is charged with assault causing bodily harm and aggravated assault.
“I expect (Ward) will testify he had no problem with Mr. Rimdzius other than disrespectful words about each other’s girlfriend,” Caffaro said. “He wasn’t expecting a fight.”
A Mountie who investigated said Rimdzius appeared sober when he was arrested. His only injury was a cut to his knuckle.
Trucker Melvin Salway testified as the first Crown witness. He said he just picked up a load of fibre from a mill at nearby Chasm, heading to delivery in Surrey.
Salway rumbled his tractor-trailer through the village of Clinton on the Cariboo Highway when he spotted what he thought was garbage on the highway through town.
“I was driving at 30 mph and was going to go around on the right, around the pile of rubbish,” Salway said. “Then I noticed it was a person in the middle of the road.”
The trial is scheduled to continue Tuesday.