2000 Lincoln Continental

Electrical problem
2000 Lincoln Continental V8 Front Wheel Drive Automatic 85000 miles

While driving to work recently, there was a " thunk" in the front of the car, the " Traction Control failure" message came on, and the rpm indicator shot up to max then fell to zero and remained there. I was able to continue to my office where I parked. When I came to drive home, the car won't start, and I get a " check traction control" message. The battery is fine (12.5+ V), and when I turn the ignition switch to start there is simply nothing - no engagement of the starter motor at all. Is my starting problem related to the traction control issue? If it is, or may be, how can I troubleshoot this, short of having the car towed to my my mechanic?
June 25, 2008.

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