Tubtim ‘Sue’ Howson hit & run driver flees to her native Thailand after killing Benjamin Kable on New Year’s Day two days after crash. Woman remains unaccounted for as Feds issue charges.
‘I think I killed somebody.’ A Michigan woman is believed to have fled to her native Thailand in a bid to evade charges following a hit-and-run crash which saw her vehicle strike and kill a suburban Detroit college student during the early hours on New Year’s Day.
Tubtim ‘Sue’ Howson, 57, was charged Monday in absenteeism with a federal crime related to her sudden one-way flight to Bangkok on Jan. 3.
Benjamin Kable, 22, was struck while walking before dawn on an Oakland County road on Jan. 1. The Michigan State University student, who was home for the holidays, died at the scene.
A felony warrant had already been issued for Howson’s alleged failure to stop at the scene, resulting in serious impairment or death, but the FBI now says there is probable cause to charge her with felony interstate flight to avoid prosecution as well.
‘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 she was going back to Thailand,’ FBI agent Matthew Schuff said in a court filing.
In search of justice
‘When encouraged to turn herself in to police, Howson allegedly stated, ‘no cops, no cops,” Schuff said.
Of note, the U.S. and Thailand have an extradition treaty.
‘I call on the Thai government to extradite her so we can hold her accountable for her actions involving this young man’s tragic death,’ Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said.
The victim’s father, Michael Kable, later explained to the Detroit News that his son was kicked out of an Uber for unknown reasons on Rochester Road, where he was struck.
‘When she kicked him out, it was on Rochester Road, a very bad spot,’ Michael Kable said. ‘There’s no streetlights, there’s no sidewalk, you know, very minimal of any shoulder.
‘He actually texted his friends that she was kicking him out, “Looks like I’m walking from here.”‘
Witnesses on the scene said Howson stopped for a short time before fleeing the scene.
‘lack of empathy and humanity…’
Sheriff’s deputies were later able to determine the vehicle — fragments of which were scattered across the scene — was registered to Howson, who they say was traveling to Birmingham to work at the time.
Michael Kable, told CBS Detroit that he hopes Howson will ‘do the right thing’ and return to the U.S.
‘Accidents happen, but you know people have to take responsibility for their actions,’ the father said. ‘I wish she would do the right thing and bring herself back because it’s made it way worse for our family. It’s super difficult to lose a child in the first place but to lose a child like this and then realize it’s someone out there that doesn’t have empathy to call an ambulance or render aid, it’s terrible and honestly shakes your faith in humanity. I don’t understand how someone could be like that.’
‘Just the lack of empathy and humanity it would take, and then just plot your getaway,’ the father told FOX 2. ‘All we can do is cross our fingers that we get some justice.’
Michael Kable told the Detroit News that the family has been having a hard time coping with the death.
‘I mean, it keeps the wound open,’ Kable said. ‘Losing a child or sibling, I don’t think you ever get over it, I think it’s always there. I think over a long period of time you learn to cope somewhat better but this piled on top of it makes it even more difficult … Obviously, there’s some anger involved.’
A GoFundMe has since been set up to help the family seek justice.
It remains unclear if Thailand authorities have sought to locate and arrest the woman.