Police charge second man in connection to fatal ATV crash in Blair County


HOLLIDAYSBURG – State police Wednesday filed charges against another man in connection to the death of Hollidaysburg Area High School student Mikayla Focht.

Focht died during an ATV accident in April, according to authorities.

Jacob Ralph Helsel, 18, of Duncansville, faces charges of accidents involving death or personal injury, indecent assault, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and unsworn falsification to authorities.

Officials said the charges were filed against Helsel in regards to his Jeep crash and an incident involving a 17-year-old female victim from Hollidaysburg who was at a party beforehand.

According to a criminal complaint, police said Helsel ran over Focht after she was thrown from the ATV.

Helsel was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Craig Ormsby and was released after he posted 10 percent of $50,000 bail.

A preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 28.

Trenton Bilak, 23, of Everett, has been charged with homicide by vehicle, involuntary manslaughter, accident involving death, tampering with evidence and several other charges in connection to Focht’s ATV death.

According to police, Focht was killed in the early morning hours of April 14 when was thrown off the back of an ATV driven by Bilak along Knob Road in Greenfield Township, Blair County.

Police said Bilak and Helsel removed the Jeep and ATV from the scene and fled without calling for assistance.

Officials said they didn't receive a call about the crash until more than two hours later. Focht was pronounced dead at the scene.

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