Oakland County woman charged with hitting, killing 22-year-old MSU student, fled US

Driver flew to Thailand days after crash

OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. – The FBI says the driver charged with hitting and killing a 22-year-old Michigan State student has left the country.

Police say 57-year-old Tubtim Howson hit Benjamin Kable in the early hours of New Year’s Day and took off to Thailand days later.

News of a federal warrant for Howson is at least a little bit of hope that justice will be served for Kable’s father, Michael Kable, as things just haven’t been the same since Ben was killed while walking across Rochester Road around 5:46 am.

“I have a lot of mixed emotions,” said Michael Kable. “I’m really glad they were able to figure out who did it and what happened. It’s difficult to understand how someone can just drive away and leave somebody dying on the road.”

Authorities have now identified the driver of a BMW 320i that hit Ben as Howson, who also goes by Sue. It turns out she was on her way to work at a Birmingham grocery store at the time of the crash. But panicked and fled back to Thailand just days later.

Oakland County Undersheriff Curtis Childs said it’s all thanks to tips from the investigation.

“We have a warrant for her arrest,” said Childs. “We’ve reached out and partnered with the FBI to try and extradite her back from Thailand here in Oakland County so that she can be held accountable for this hit-and-run accident on New Year’s Eve.”

As a result, Howson is now facing multiple charges, including a five-year felony of failure to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in death and now the federal charge of fleeing the country to avoid prosecution, which is also a five-year felony as well.

“Nothing’s certain when you’re talking international extradition,” Childs said. “But I’m confident that we’ll be able to bring her back here. It still doesn’t bring back a loved one. Hopefully, it’ll bring them some closure.”

Until that happens, Michael will be keeping the memories of Ben alive, now learning more about the man his son was becoming.

“We had to clean out his apartment in Lansing,” Michael said. “We found out from his landlord that before he came home on break, he had run into a homeless guy and brought him home, actually. He cooked a meal for him and got him cleaned up. He was just that kind of kid.”

Michael also wants Uber held accountable.

Local 4 knows that Ben took an Uber to and from the party he attended, but for some reason, he was kicked out and left in the middle of the road, which ultimately led to this happening.

More: FBI: Driver charged in hit-and-run of Michigan State student in Oakland County has fled country

About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.