Sarah Hyland Taking Social Media Break After Cousin's Death Donation Request Sparks Backlash

Sarah Hyland is taking a break from social media following the death of her 14-year-old cousin and the backlash that followed her request for donations.

The Modern Family star announced her decision on Twitter on Monday, revealing that she was driven to take a step back from social media due to the way in which people reacted to her request for contributions to a GoFundMe page created for her cousin, Trevor Canaday, who was killed by an alleged drunk driver.

“You guys finally did it. Your horrible negative ignorant words have broken me. Happy? Staying offline for a while,” she wrote. “I have a special announcement and video releasing on Wednesday I believe. So. There’s that.”

Earlier in the day, Hyland had taken to Instagram and Twitter to share the news that Canaday had been killed when 36-year-old Jeffrey Eggeling ran a red light and slammed into the vehicle that the 14-year-old was riding in with his father, Bryan, while on their way to a choir event.

“This is my 14 year old cousin Trevor,” she wrote, haring a screenshot from the GoFundMe page. “Yesterday, he was killed by a drunk driver. My Uncle is still in the hospital in need of more surgeries. PLEASE swipe up to help.”

Following the message, some fans took issue with the Modern Family star’s request for donations, criticizing her for asking when she herself makes a decent living from her role on the ABC sitcom.

“Says alot about the kind of person you are that you would ask your followers to donate for your cousins [sic] funeral, when you sit in a position of great privilege and have more money then [sic] most of would ever hope to see in our lifetimes,” one person wrote on Instagram.

“This sad [sic] but you make millions and millions of dollars off of modern family, you can afford to take care of that payment instead of asking fans that make less than u,” one person commented on Twitter.

Hyland later addressed the backlash in a tweet, requesting “those who have negative thoughts or opinions about the tragedy that happened to my family, to keep them to themselves. You don’t know all the details. And how dare you attack when a beautiful life has been lost.”


The GoFundMe page has since raised $36,928 of its $25,000, with several of Hyland’s Modern Family co-stars making donations.

Eggeling has since been charged with vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of a personal injury crash, and two counts of DUI causing serious injury.