Driver crashes into CHP office

Former Chowchilla mayor lost control

jsmith@mercedsunstar.comJanuary 5, 2013 

— Former Chowchilla Mayor and City Councilman Jim Kopshever lost control of his vehicle Thursday and crashed into the front entrance of the California Highway Patrol building in Madera, officers said.

Kopshever reportedly suffered a coughing attack and possibly became faint before his Chevy Tahoe veered off the road at Airport Drive and Yeager Road in Madera.

"It sounded like he began coughing, possibly became lightheaded and struck our front foy- er," said Madera CHP Sgt. Michael Donnelly. "It got pretty thunderous. The vehicle was half inside of our building."

No one was injured in the crash, including Kopshever, according to officials. The often busy lobby was empty at 3 p.m. when the accident happened.

"Mr. Kopshever was determined not to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and at this time there are to be no charges filed against him," Donnelly said.

During the incident, the SUV barreled through two concrete, sand-filled trash cans, placed to protect the front door of the building. The crash also destroyed two vending machines and caused significant front-end damage to the vehicle.

The front doors of the CHP building are boarded up until further notice, according to officers.

Arrangements can be made to meet officers outside of the building for citizens wishing to obtain documents. All inquires must be made over the phone at (599) 675-1025.

Reporter Joshua Emerson Smith can be reached at (209) 385-2486 or

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