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Thai woman accused of fatal hit-and-run of Michigan student agrees to return to US

Tubtim Howson, Benjamin Kable
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    The Thai woman who fled to Thailand after being accused of hitting a Michigan university student with her car and leaving him for dead has agreed to return to the U.S. to face charges.

    Benjamin Kable, a 22-year-old Michigan State University (MSU) student, was walking home along Rochester Road in Oakland County, Michigan, at around 5:49 a.m. on Jan. 1 when Tubtim “Sue” Howson’s 2016 white BMW 320i allegedly struck him. Kable was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Two days after the deadly collision, Howson, 57, purchased a one-way ticket from Detroit Metro Airport and traveled to Bangkok on Jan. 5. When Howson was urged to turn herself in to the police by a friend she confided in about the incident, she allegedly said, “No cops, no cops.”

    On Wednesday, authorities said that Howson has agreed to return to the U.S. to face the charges filed against her. 

    Howson faces several felonies, including interstate flight to avoid prosecution and failure to stop at a scene resulting in death.

    The U.S. and Thailand have an extradition treaty. 

    According to Thai deputy national police chief Surachate Hakparn, preparations are being made for Howson to fly back to Michigan before Sunday.

    “We did not arrest her,” Hakparn said. “After she knew the facts, she showed the intention to accept the punishment in the U.S. This will be a good example for Thai society.”

    At a news conference, Howson spoke about the hit-and-run, claiming that she initially thought she hit a deer.

    I left home for work around 5.30 a.m. to 6 a.m. It is the wintertime and it was very dark. There was usually nobody walking on the road there, except deer. I did not think I would run away, but I was very shocked. I tried to call the police but my hands were shaking. I could not do anything.

    According to Surachate, Howson has been working and living in Michigan with her family, including her two children, for more than 20 years.

    A GoFundMe campaign has been organized to support Kable’s grieving family.

    Kable was an electrical engineering senior at MSU. He is the second youngest of six siblings. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, playing video games and spending time with his friends and family.

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