A campaign bus for a candidate in the City Council's special election killed a 9-year-old Queens boy scampering home from school yesterday, devastating the child's family and stunning the politician, who suspended his race.
PS 63 fourth-grader Ibrihim Ahmed was struck by the bus bearing the legend "Mike Ricatto Special Election 32nd City Council District" at the intersection of Cross Bay Boulevard and Liberty Avenue in Ozone Park.
He was pronounced dead at the scene at around 3:40 p.m.
The operator, Alexander Aponte, 22, who lives on the Upper East Side, was charged with driving with a suspended license and failure to yield the right of way.
Republican Ricatto, 52, a prominent businessman in the conservative 32nd District in Queens, which includes Ozone Park and Howard Beach, was not on the bus.
"I think this must have been the worst day of my life," an emotional Ricatto told The Post.
"I have a boy his age. It's absolutely a tragedy - a little boy like that. I really can't continue [the campaign] right now. It's such a blur.
"His poor father," Ricatto said, his voice cracking.
The campaign released a statement saying all activities were suspended "until further notice because the reverence for family loss comes before any politics."
At Ibrihim's home on 79th Avenue, not far from the scene of the tragedy, his family gathered to mourn their loss and comfort one another.
"He was always playing around and joking," said a 23-year-old cousin who did not want to give her name
She said Ibrihim leaves an older sister, and that family members are devout Muslims.
"The kid had the light and was trying to run faster, but he didn't make it," said Raymond Sierra.
Neighborhood resident Mary Sheeley, 35, called the site a dangerous crossing.
"I'm always scared to cross this intersection," she said.
Ricatto is running in the special election to fill the City Council seat vacated by state Sen. Joe Addabbo. He's well-known in the area for Ricatto Enterprises - which operates engine and transmission dealerships - and the Whiskey Bar in Flushing.
Additional reporting by Erin Calabrese and Simon EskowRe