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Three-Time Convicted Drunk Driver Charged In Crash That Killed Sarah Hyland's Cousin

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Who Is Trevor Canaday? New Details On Sarah Hyland's Cousin Killed By Drunk Driver And Driver's Arrest

Modern Family star Sarah Hyland suffered a real family tragedy in December when her young cousin Trevor was killed in a car accident.

Trevor, 14, and his father were driving to a show choir event when a drunk driver ran a red light and collided with their vehicle. Trevor did not survive the crash. Jefferey Eggerling was arrested for the incident and it was discovered that not only was he drunk at the time of the accident, he had also been arrested on several prior drunk driving charges.

Hyland was heartbroken at the time, taking to social media to accuse Eggerling of murdering her cousin.

Now Eggerling has pleaded no contest to motor vehicle homicide and he faces up to 53 years in prison.

Who is Trevor Canady? Read on for the details of the crash that took his life.

1. Crash

Bryan Canady was driving Trevor to a show choir event on the evening of December 1st. As they entered an intersection, Jeffrey Eggeling ran a red light and slammed directly into the passenger side of the car. Trevor, whose seatbelt snapped in the impact, was thrown from the car. He succumbed to his injuries and died after being transported to a hospital. His father was admitted to the hospital with a fractured sternum, a laceration to his liver and other internal injuries, according to the Omaha World Herald.

When police tracked down Eggeling several hours later, he tried to say that his car had been stolen and he had not been driving. But police at the time reported that they could smell “the odor of alcoholic beverage” on him and he was slurring his speech. After his initial denials, police determined that he had been the driver in the deadly crash. They tested his blood alcohol level and discovered it was .103 percent, more than the legal limit of .08 percent.  People magazine notes that police also found a glass pipe, keys and a small bottle of alcohol in his car.

The crash killed Trevor and injured his father.

2. “Giving and loving”

Trevor’s family described him as very “giving and loving”, recalling that he was generous with his classmates. “If there was somebody on the outside of the circle, he would bring them inside. That’s the kind of guy he was.”

His mother Becky says that he was a football player as a freshman in high school and hoped to be able to play at the University of Nebraska someday. “He liked defense best,” the mom said. “He liked to be able to hit people and move them around.” She also said that ”He was academically smart, and street smart, too. He knew people, he could read people.”

His sister Zoee told the Omaha Wold Herald that “He was my best friend. He tried to be the big brother, even though he was the baby brother. He was always smiling, laughing. He could change your mood just by looking at him.”

His family, including actress Sarah Hyland were gried-stricken.

3. Grieving family

At the time Trevor’s mother told reporters that his memory was what would keep her going after his death, saying “It’s a tragedy that shouldn’t have been. What’s going to get us through is our love for Trevor and our love for each other. Trevor would want everyone to be kind, to hug somebody and help others.”

The community rallied around Trevor's family. 

RELATED: Are Sarah Hyland And Wells Adams Engaged? New Details On The Rumors They're Planning A Wedding

4. Organ donation

Though he was only 14-years-old, Trevor had reportedly talked to his family about organ donation and they followed his wishes after his death. The Omaha World Herald reported that he was able to help between 50 and 70 people due to his generosity.

Trevor was well liked.

5. Outpouring of support

The Heavy reports that in the wake of Trevor’s death, his family set up a GoFundMe page to help offset medical and funeral expenses. The fundraiser ultimately raised over $40,000 and included donations from Trevor’s famous cousin Sarah Hyland and her Modern Family co-star Ariel Winter. Hyland shared a post in her Instagram stories that read: “This is my 14-year-old cousin Trevor. Yesterday, he was killed by a drunk driver. My uncle is still in the hospital in need of more surgeries.” Hyland also posted a now-deleted tweet about the loss of her younger cousin, saying “JEFFREY EGGERLING is a murderer. May he rot in hell.”

Sarah Hyland raised awareness about her family's tragedy.

RELATED: Sad New Details About Trever Canaday, Sarah Hyland’s 14-Year-Old Cousin Who Was Killed By A Drunk Driver

6. Charges

After the crash, Eggerling was charged with motor vehicle homicide and causing serious bodily injury by driving drunk. Later, additional charges of manslaughter and assault were added. Douglas County Attorney Donald W. Kleine told People that “The actions were so egregious that we felt we would add these additional charges. The law supports us to add these additional charges,” 

Eggeling will face prison.

The charges carry a sentence up to 53 years in prson. On July 3rd, he pleaded no contest to the charges and he will be formally sentenced in September.  This was his fourth drunk driving arrest.

Our thoughts and prayer go out to Trevor’s family.

Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. Her work has been seen at Ravishly, Babble, Scary Mommy, The Mid, Redbook online, and The Broad Side. She is the creator of the blog Stay at Home Pundit and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.