‘Do the right thing’ U.S. tells Thai-American woman who fled fatal hit-and-run scene to Bangkok

Tubtim “Sue” Howson, at left in a photo taken from social media. At right, Benjamin Kable in a photo taken on his 22nd birthday posted to a Gofundme fundraiser.
Tubtim “Sue” Howson, at left in a photo taken from social media. At right, Benjamin Kable in a photo taken on his 22nd birthday posted to a Gofundme fundraiser.

Law enforcement in the United States appealed to a Thai-American woman wanted for fleeing to Thailand after allegedly killing a student with her car to go to the U.S. embassy in Bangkok to turn herself in.

Michael Bouchard, the Michigan state sheriff who has initiated the process to extradite Tubtim “Sue” Howson, after she fled to Thailand two days after fatally hitting a university student with her car in the early hours of New Year’s Day, told reporters that she should “do the right thing.”

“Come back, go to the American Embassy in Thailand, do the right thing,” Bouchard said in a video published today. “You know things got worse because you left the country. You know extra charges were applied because you didn’t stop at the scene.”

Bouchard added that there was “still an opportunity to do the right thing.”

Thai police today said they have taken no action because they have not yet received an extradition request for Tubtim, who is a U.S. citizen.

Just before 6am on Jan. 1, Michigan State University student Benjamin Kable, 22, died after Tubtim hit him with her BMW. She then fled the scene. On Jan. 3, Tubtim left the United States on a flight that brought her to Bangkok.

Tubtim is named in a felony arrest warrant for allegedly failing to stop at the scene of a fatal crime, and she may also be charged with another felony for fleeing to avoid prosecution.

Kable was a senior at the university, where he studied electrical engineering, according to a fundraiser set up to help his family. 

“He was a gentle soul who you could always rely on and was always there if you needed a shoulder to cry on or someone to talk to,” it read. “If you ever needed a good laugh Benjamin was the person you would turn to.”

Sheriff Bouchard also said he is worried that Tubtim won’t remain in the kingdom, which has an extradition treaty with Washington.

“Any time you have someone that far across the country, any extradition is not a slam dunk…,” he said. “If she attempts to make some of those other moves, it’s going to be much more difficult.”

Probably unfamiliar with how fatal accidents play out in Thailand (See exhibits one, two, three, and four, to name a few) Kable’s father expressed disbelief at Tubtim’s actions. 

“Just the lack of empathy and humanity it would take and then just plot your getaway… All we can do is cross our fingers that we get some justice,” Mike Kable told reporters.

Tubtim’s American husband equated his wife’s flight with Benjamin Kable’s death, telling a Fox News affiliate: “Two families have lost somebody here.” He also noted “Not my fault, I wasn’t even in the country.”

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