By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Police: Woman who walked kids into traffic in Mass. cited for minor car accident same night
Pedestrians Killed Heal
This undated photo provided by the family shows Kaliegh Lambert, 6, and her brother Shane Lambert, 4, both of Brentwood, N.H., who were killed along with their aunt Marcelle Thibault after being struck by cars as she carried them while walking into traffic on Interstate 495 in Lowell, Mass., on Jan. 11, 2008. Authorities said the incident was a double-murder suicide. - photo by Associated Press
    BOSTON — A woman who killed herself and her sister’s two small children by walking into oncoming interstate traffic had a minor car accident and State Police cited her just hours before the double murder-suicide.
    Marcelle ‘‘Marci’’ Thibault, 39, showed no signs of impairment when three State Police troopers arrived to the scene of the accident — the same highway where she would later die — around 6:50 p.m. on Jan. 11, State Police Capt. Barry O’Brien told The Associated Press on Friday.
    Thibault told troopers she must have fallen asleep at the wheel and brushed her 2003 Lincoln sedan against a guardrail, causing minor damage to the sideview mirror, O’Brien said.
    Initially, another motorist had stopped to assist and told police Thibault appeared agitated, but she was rational and responsive when troopers arrived, O’Brien said.
    ‘‘They interacted with her for about 15 minutes, and they didn’t observe any impairment, no signs of any drug or alcohol, she had a valid license, so after she was cited, she continued on her way,’’ O’Brien said.
    Less than three hours later, she killed herself and her twin sister’s two children by walking into oncoming traffic on Interstate 495, less than 10 miles from her earlier accident.
    After being cited for failure to stay in marked lanes, Thibault drove to the home of her sister in Brentwood, N.H., where she picked up her 5-year-old niece, Kaleigh Lambert, and 4-year-old nephew Shane Lambert for a planned sleep-over party.
    On her way home to Bellingham, authorities say Thibault pulled over to the side of Interstate 495 south in Lowell, undressed herself and the children, took them in her arms and walked into oncoming traffic. They were fatally struck by two cars.
    Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone has said the woman had a brief history of mental illness. Leone announced last week the deaths were not accidental.
    ‘‘We were aware of the prior traffic stop and a complete development of the facts supported our findings in this tragic incident,’’ Leone’s spokesman Corey Welford said Friday.
    Ken and Danielle Lambert, the parents of the children, said in a statement Friday night that the events leading to the deaths of their three family members were ‘‘most unfortunate.’’ No one could have possibly predicted the outcome, they said, adding that they would never have intentionally put their children in harm’s way.
    ‘‘Our hope is that families and officials will gain a better understanding of mental illness and provide better treatment protocols in the future,’’ the parents’ statement said. ‘‘Perhaps increased knowledge of these issues will prevent incidents like this from happening in the future.’’
    Friends and family said Thibault was a doting stay-at-home mom to her teenage children and volunteered to organize activities for teens at her church. She often threw parties for her young nieces and nephews, like the ‘‘pirates and princesses’’ sleep-over she picked up her sister’s only children for Jan. 11.
    Young said earlier he did not know the specifics of the mental health treatment Thibault had received, but described it as a ‘‘brief, isolated incident in her life’’ within the past year and said she appeared to have fully recovered.

Sign up for the Herald's free e-newsletter