AP

Thai suspect in Michigan hit-and-run agrees to return to US

Feb 14, 2023, 1:50 PM | Updated: Feb 15, 2023, 6:47 am

Deputy National Police Chief Surachet Hakpal, left, talks to reporters with Tubtim "Sue" Howson, 57...

Deputy National Police Chief Surachet Hakpal, left, talks to reporters with Tubtim "Sue" Howson, 57, during press conference at police headquarter in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023. Howson allegedly struck Michigan State University student Benjamin Kable, 22, shortly before dawn on Jan. 1. She flew to Thailand on a one-way ticket on Jan. 3, according to U.S. authorities. (Royal Thai Police via AP)

(Royal Thai Police via AP)

BANGKOK (AP) — A Thai-American woman living in Michigan who fled to Thailand after allegedly being involved in a hit-and-run accident that killed a college student has agreed to return to the United States to face charges, police said Wednesday.

Tubtim “Sue” Howson, 57, allegedly struck Michigan State University student Benjamin Kable, 22, shortly before dawn on Jan. 1, and according to U.S. authorities, flew to Thailand on a one-way ticket on Jan. 3. The accident took place 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 flying out of the country was filed on Feb. 6.

Thai deputy national police chief Surachate Hakparn, speaking at a news conference also attended by Howson, announced she intends to return to the United States to face charges, and preparations were being made for her to fly back before Sunday.

“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,” Howson said, recounting the accident. She said she initially thought she had hit a deer, but when asked later why she fled to Thailand, responded that when she saw Kable’s body, she thought he must be dead.

“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,” she said.

The FBI, when it filed a federal charge against her, noted in a court filing that she was 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.

“When encouraged to turn herself in to police, Howson allegedly stated, ‘no cops, no cops,'” FBI agent Matthew Schuff said in the filing.

Howson arrived in Thailand on Jan. 5, and police said they started to trace her on Jan. 12 at the FBI’s request, finding her on Jan. 14 in the western province of Ratchaburi, where they suggested she turn herself in.

Thailand and the U.S. 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.

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

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

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

moore redmond washington...

Associated Press

U.S. Supreme Court rules against Redmond couple challenging foreign income tax

The court ruled in the case of Charles and Kathleen Moore, of Redmond, Washington after they previously challenged a $15,000 tax bill.

4 days ago

Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

6 days ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

7 days ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

7 days ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

8 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

9 days ago

Thai suspect in Michigan hit-and-run agrees to return to US