Ex-Chowchilla mayor crashes into CHP building in Madera

January 4, 2013 12:28:37 AM PST
A car crashed into a Valley California Highway Patrol building, sending people inside scrambling to safety. The CHP building is located at Airport Drive and Yeager Road in Madera.

The driver has been identified as Jim Kopshever, the former mayor of Chowchilla, and city council member.

Investigators say Kopshever suffered some sort of medical condition and lost control of his Chevy Tahoe.

The impact was hard enough to set off the airbags, and the Tahoe has considerable front end damage.

A CHP officer says just before 3:00 Thursday afternoon, he heard a loud crash, looked up and saw the Tahoe barreling into the lobby. The SUV stopped at the wall dividing the lobby from the CHP office space.

Kopshever was not injured in the crash, neither was anyone in the office. Fortunately the lobby was empty at the time of the crash.

A CHP officer told ABC30, "Throughout the day we have many people come in to sign off fix-it tickets or to get releases for vehicles that have been towed or to request traffic collision reports. We're very lucky that, at this time, no one was in our lobby."

Because Kopshever likely suffered from a medical condition during the crash, he will not be cited or charged for the incident.

In the video, Action News reporter Rick Montanez has complete coverage on the story.