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Ozone Park

Why Let a Reckless Driver Behind the Wheel of Your Campaign Bus?

ricatto_vehicle.jpgThe scene of the collision that killed Ibrihim Ahmed. Photo: Dennis Clark/New York Post

The daily papers are reporting on the death of Ibrihim Ahmed, a nine-year-old boy who was struck by a local politician's campaign bus while walking home from school in Ozone Park yesterday. The fatal collision happened in full view of students and parents at the intersection of Cross Bay Boulevard and Liberty Avenue.

The vehicle that struck Ahmed, described as a motor home by the Daily News, belonged to the campaign of Michael Ricatto, a businessman running for Joseph Addabbo's vacated seat in the City Council. Behind the wheel: Alexander Aponte, a 22-year-old with a suspended license. The News cites an eyewitness who says, one can assume, that Aponte was accelerating through the intersection:

Witness Raymond Sierra, 19, said it appeared Aponte was attempting to beat the traffic light when he hit the boy, who was walking in the crosswalk.

"Itlooked like he was trying to make the light," said Sierra, explainingthat the light had turned yellow when the motor home struck the child.

By all accounts, the intersection is a nightmare to cross. But with all due respect to the distressed Ricatto (Post sub-head: "Candidate Devastated"), the most pressing question is this: Why did his campaign allow someone without a valid license to drive this massive, dangerous vehicle?

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