Drunk Driver Accused of Killing Sarah Hyland's Cousin, 14, in Crash Pleads No Contest to Homicide
More than six months after Trevor Canaday’s death, Eggeling, 37, has entered a plea.
On July 2, Eggeling pleaded no contest to motor vehicle homicide, driving under the influence and causing serious bodily injury, Douglas County Attorney Donald W. Kleine confirmed to PEOPLE on Thursday.
Eggeling will be sentenced Sept. 19 and faces up to 53 years in prison.
In early December, the Modern Family star’s 14-year-old cousin died in Omaha, Nebraska, after a driver ran through a red light at an intersection and caused a collision.
“The driver of the at-fault vehicle, who was later identified as Jeffrey Eggeling, left the scene of the collision on foot,” the police report stated. “The collision resulted in two individuals from the other involved vehicle suffering life-threatening injuries. Eggeling was located on foot a short distance from the collision scene.”
According to police documents obtained by PEOPLE, the driver had a blood alcohol concentration of .103. (The legal limit for driving under the influence is .08.)
According to the police report, the officers could smell “the odor of alcoholic beverage” on Eggeling, who also had “slurred speech” at the time.
The police also stated that the collision caused Trevor to be ejected from the vehicle. He later died after being transported to a local hospital. Trevor’s father, who was also in the car, suffered head and facial injuries during the crash and is still recovering.
Before his preliminary hearing, Eggeling had been “charged with motor vehicle homicide, DUI causing serious bodily injury and failing to stop and render aid,” according to the Omaha World-Herald. The publication also reported that the driver, who was driving a 2011 Ford Escape 69 mph in a 45 mph zone, had “a glass pipe, keys and a small bottle of alcohol” in his vehicle.
Additional charges of manslaughter and assault were later brought against Eggeling.
“The actions were so egregious that we felt we would add these additional charges. The law supports us to add these additional charges,” said Kleine, according to KETV, which noted that Eggeling could face more than 90 years in prison if convicted of all charges.
At the end of December, Eggeling remained in jail on a $750,000 bond as he awaited trial. In the past, he had been convicted three times for driving while intoxicated and for operating a boat while drunk, E! News also reported. It was unclear whether he had an attorney who could comment on his behalf or had entered a plea.
On July 3, Omaha World-Herald reported that Eggeling’s plea bargain eliminated the need for a week-long trial, which was set to begin last week.
Following Trevor’s tragic death, Hyland, who recently got engaged to boyfriend Wells Adams, announced on social media that her cousin had died and her uncle would continue to need more surgeries after the crash.
“This is my 14-year-old cousin Trevor,” she wrote on her Instagram Story in December. “Yesterday, he was killed by a drunk driver. My uncle is still in the hospital in need of more surgeries.”
Along with the message, Hyland, 28, provided a link to a GoFundMe page set up by Trevor’s mom Becky and sisters Tessa and Zoee to raise money for funeral and medical costs.
According to the page, Trevor and his dad Bryan were “driving to a show choir event and were involved in a serious car accident due to a drunk driver.”