A Michigan woman is accused of killing a college student in a hit-and-run crash and then fleeing the country to her native Thailand, officials said.
Tubtim “Sue” Howson, a U.S. citizen originally from Thailand, allegedly told another person that she believed she killed someone and that she was returning to Thailand. When encouraged to surrender to police, she refused, according to federal charging documents filed Monday.
“No cops,” she allegedly said. “No cops.”
Victim Benjamin Kable died after being struck at about 6 a.m. on New Year’s Day in Oakland Township, Michigan.
Kable was home for the holiday break as a student at Michigan State University, federal authorities said. Witnesses claimed to see Kable walking in the southbound land of Rochester Road, south of Whims Road, and a vehicle traveling south struck him.
“Witnesses stated the vehicle continued south, turned around to go north, and remained in the area for a short period of time after the crash,” documents said. “The driver of the vehicle then fled the scene after the incident. AV-1 suffered fatal injuries as a result of the crash and died at the scene.”
“It’s just your worst nightmare and there is nothing you can do,” Ben’s father Mike Kable told WYZ in an emotional interview.
He described the street as having no sidewalks there, no lights, and “not even a decent shoulder,” he said.
“No place to really walk,” he said. Mike Kable told the outlet his son did not have a winter coat on.
“An accident can happen, but what came afterward makes it even worse,” he said.
According to documents, witness accounts described the driver as an Asian woman. Car parts left at the scene led investigators to think her vehicle was a 2016-2018 BMW 3 Series. Investigators later found a 2016 white BMW 320i. They tracked this to Howson, claiming she was the owner.
According to witnesses and records related to the owner of the vehicle, the driver was believed to be TUBTIM HOWSON (A/K/A “Sue”), an Asian female, DOB XX/XX/1965. Per the OCSO report, HOWSON was on the way to work in Birmingham, MI from her home in Oakland Township when AV-1 was struck. HOWSON, a United States citizen, is originally from Thailand and allegedly told a close associate after the crash that she thought she killed somebody and was she going back to Thailand. When encouraged to turn herself in to police, HOWSON allegedly stated, “no cops, no cops.”
Authorities claim she flew out of Detroit Metro Airport on Jan. 3 to Dallas – Fort Worth Airport. From there, she took a Finnair flight to Helsinki, Finland, then finally to Bangkok, Thailand.
“This is why we could not provide real time updates on the course of our investigation,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. “The person that we have as our suspect had fled the country prior to being identified as our suspect. As a result, we had to work very much behind the scenes with our partners from the FBI and the prosecutors office to get all the correct paperwork and warrants to seek international extradition from Thailand to hold the suspect to account. Now, I am calling on the Thailand government to help make that a reality.”
Howson is charged with interstate flight to avoid prosecution.
A GoFundMe campaign to support Kable’s family raised $10,207 of a $25,000 goal as of Feb. 10, 2023.
Note: We added a link to the family’s GoFundMe.
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