Lataria Milton’s days with the MBTA will soon be over.
The MBTA driver accused of striking a longtime Boston parking enforcement officer with her MBTA bus, is in the beginning stages of termination from the MBTA, according to a T official who declined to be named because the person did not have authorization to talk about Milton’s employment status.
Milton was arrested by Transit Police Thursday morning on charges of driving her MBTA bus into Vicki Kilduff, 44, a Boston Transportation Department supervisor who was writing Milton a $75 ticket for parking the bus in a no-stopping zone on Commonwealth Avenue in Kenmore Square.
She was released on personal recognizance at Roxbury Municipal Court Friday morning after pleading not guilty to reckless operation of a motor vehicle and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
Judge David Weingarten ordered Milton not to have any contact with the transportation officer or witnesses to the incident.
Joe Pesaturo, spokesman for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, said Friday afternoon that regardless of whether Milton continues working at the MBTA, T officials have determined that they do not want her behind the wheel of a bus in the future.
“Ms. Milton will not operate an MBTA bus again,” Pesaturo said.
Quoting witnesses at the scene, Assistant Suffolk District Attorney Linda Champion painted a picture of a volatile bus operator unconcerned about the safety of others. She asked that Milton be held on $2,500 bail.
Drivers of nearby cars and other transportation officers in Kilduff’s van told police the bus driver was eating a bagel while idling in the left lane, ignoring Kilduff’s repeated requests for her to move the vehicle and waving her off.
Witnesses said Milton swerved toward Kilduff as she was placing a ticket on the bus windshield. The bus continued to lurch forward and collided with cars waiting for the light to change at the major intersection, the police report said.
“The bus gunned forward, intentionally striking the victim,” Champion said.
Boston police obtained surveillance video footage of the incident that is consistent with the accounts of witnesses, according to the MBTA Transit Police affidavit.
Milton told police that “the bus spontaneously began to roll forward,” the police report said. She said that she hit the foot brakes and pulled the emergency brake, but that the bus stopped only after it reached the crosswalk.
Officials with the MBTA and the Department of Public Utilities inspected the bus and determined that there were no defects or brake failure.
Milton had a series of infractions on her personal driving record.
In August 2006, her commercial driver’s license was suspended for repeated violations, including operating an unregistered vehicle and failing to stop, records show. The next year, she was required to complete the National Safety Council’s safety course for chronic highway violators, according to Registry of Motor Vehicles records.
Milton was also found at fault in a March 2010 crash in Roxbury.
But Milton’s record as an MBTA bus driver was clean, except for one accident on her first day of work 11 years ago, said Pesaturo and Milton’s attorney.
Pesaturo said the MBTA currently has an electronic tracking system in place that automatically alerts supervisors if a bus operator’s commercial driver’s license is suspended. If that happens, he said, the bus driver is suspended without pay or is discharged from the MBTA.
But that system was put in place in 2009, Pesaturo said, and it would not have alerted supervisors to the August 2006 license suspension.
“There was nothing on her record that would have suggested she was capable of the behavior demonstrated yesterday,” Pesaturo said.
Jonathan R. Davis, acting general manager of the MBTA, was unavailable for comment Friday, Pesaturo said.
Milton’s defense attorney, Steven J. Sack, argued that Milton’s ties to the Boston area made her a low flight risk. She is mother to five children, he said, and has spent most of her life living in Dorchester, though she recently moved to Somerville.
“She can’t have much stronger roots in the community,” Sack said.
Sack said Milton has no convictions. He said that she, along with other witnesses at the scene, recall another sequence of events from the narrative suggested by the prosecuting attorney.
“Her version is much, much different,” Sack said.
Sack declined to comment on the MBTA’s decision to terminate Milton, who is due back in court Oct. 16.
After the court hearing, Milton was hustled to a waiting car, surrounded by more than a dozen family members protecting her from reporters. James Milton, the driver’s uncle, said after Friday’s court hearing that he believed that his niece is innocent of any wrongdoing.
“She was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Milton said. “She’s a good person.”
Kilduff, who has spent 22 years with the Transportation Department, was released from Brigham and Women’s Hospital at about 12:30 p.m. Thursday.
On Friday afternoon, outside the large white brick home where she lives with her mother in Canton, her brother, Kevin Kilduff and Boston attorney Jeffrey A. Denner said that Vicki Kilduff hit the ground hard after she was struck by the bus and lost consciousness.
She is suffering from postconcussive syndrome, and a pre-existing hip injury was exacerbated, Denner said.
“She’s pretty disoriented,” Denner said. “She’s feeling pretty bad.”
Kevin Kilduff is serving as a lawyer for the family, along with Denner. Denner said that Vicki Kilduff could have been killed and that the driver easily could have been charged with mayhem or assault with intent to murder. “It would seem to me that the driver of this particular bus was very lucky with what she was charged with,” Denner said.
Kevin and Denner described Vicki as a kind, nonconfrontational woman. “She is the least combative and aggressive person,” Denner said. “I mean, she gave this driver three chances or so just to drive away.”