Tubtim “Sue” Howson, a 57-year-old Thai-American woman living in Michigan, has agreed to return to the United States to face charges related to a hit-and-run accident that killed a college student. On the morning of Jan. 1, Howson allegedly struck Michigan State University student Benjamin Kable, 22, in Oakland County, Michigan. A state charge of failing to stop at a serious accident was filed on Feb. 2 and a federal charge related to her flight out of the country was filed on Feb. 6.
At a news conference, Howson recounted the accident saying she left home for work around 5:30 to 6 a.m. and it was very dark. She initially thought she had hit a deer, but when she saw Kable’s body, she thought he must be dead and she was too shocked to call the police. According to the FBI, Howson told a close associate after the crash that she thought she killed somebody and was going back to Thailand. She arrived in Thailand on Jan. 5 and was found by police on Jan. 14 in the western province of Ratchaburi.
Thai deputy national police chief Surachate Hakparn announced that Howson intends to return to the United States to face charges, and preparations are being made for her to fly back before Sunday. He also noted that Howson has been living and working in Michigan with her family and two children for more than 20 years. Thailand and the United States have an extradition treaty, and if a suspect challenges an extradition order, it must go through a Thai court, which can be a lengthy process.