Michael Pajak, 32, is still being treated at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, but has been arrested and is under guard by Massachusetts state troopers, who hold a warrant for his arrest.
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The warrant is for a prior charge of operating under license suspension, Massachusetts state police said. When Pajak is released from Baystate, he'll be taken to the state police barracks in Springfield for processing, then will be presented in Springfield District Court. His bail is set at $50,000, police said. Pajak has an extensive arrest and motor vehicle violation record in Connecticut. Pajak had his license suspended 10 times, according to the state Department of Motor Vehicles.
In fact, Michael Pajak, 32, of Enfield, drove legally for a single day -- April 2, 2002 -- during the seven years from Nov. 15, 2000, to Sept. 28, 2007, according to DMV records. His license was not suspended at the time of Thursday's crash.
Pajak also has at least two arrests on a charge of driving while intoxicated, according to court records obtained Friday.
In addition, Pajak was charged on May 25 with distracted driving and failure to drive in the proper lane in Hartford, according to state judicial branch records. Pajak pleaded not guilty, and was to appear Friday in court, according to judicial records.
On Friday afternoon, Hall's body was escorted by a procession of police cars and motorcycles down I-91 from Massachusetts to the Carmon Funeral Home in Windsor. He had been taken to a Massachusetts hospital after the crash.
Gov. M. Jodi Rell ordered state flags and U.S. flags lowered to half-staff until sundown on the day of Hall's burial. Funeral arrangements for Hall, 57, and a Marine Corps veteran had not been set as of Friday night. State police said Hall had pulled over a commercial pickup truck towing a utility trailer on I-91 north, near Exit 48 in Enfield, shortly before the crash.
About 4:15 p.m., police said, a Dodge pickup driven by Pajak slammed into Hall's patrol car. The impact crushed the Ford Crown Victoria and pushed it into the commercial truck's trailer. The Dodge pickup then sideswiped the commercial truck, state police said.
According to state police sources, Pajak and his girlfriend were arguing as he drove the truck at more than 80 mph and weaved in and out of traffic. Pajak's pickup crossed from the left lane to the right shoulder, went into the air, landed on the state police car and ended up on its side in the left lane about a tenth of a mile past the crash scene, the sources said.
The emergency lights on Hall's car were on at the time and he was completing paperwork inside, said Lt. J. Paul Vance, state police spokesman.
Pajak and his passenger, Jenny Benvenuto, 33, of Windsor, were injured and taken to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. The driver of the commercial truck was standing in the grass at the side of the highway and was not injured.
Benvenuto was in critical condition Friday, said Ben Craft, Baystate spokesman. No information about Pajak's condition was available Friday, although Thursday night he was described as being in fair condition. The state police collision analysis reconstruction squad and the central district's Major Crime Squad continue to investigate the crash.
According to the DMV, Pajak's driving violations include the following:
On Nov. 15, 2000, his license was suspended after he was convicted of driving with a suspended license in Enfield. It was restored on April 2, 2002.
On April 3, 2002, his license was suspended again because he had been charged with driving while under the influence in Enfield on March 4, 2002.
A second, overlapping suspension occurred on March 23, 2005, when he was convicted of the DUI, the agency said. It was restored on Sept. 28, 2007.