OAKHURST, Calif. (KFSN) -- Bryce Yandell appeared in court for the first time since being arrested for the 2021 deadly hit-and-run crash that killed 20-year-old Eben Hammond of Oakhurst.
Yandell was arrested in June. The deadly hit-and-run happened on the night of July 7, 2021.
"It took about two years or so and it felt like a lifetime and like nobody was ever going to get caught. We're very thankful that there is actually a face to this situation," said Channa Hammond, Eben's sister.
Bryce Yandell sat in court as the charges were read. He pled not guilty.
"At this point, he's facing hit-and-run. Felony hit-and-run charge for hitting and killing Eben Hammond and then driving away without checking or leaving his information," said Madera County District Attorney Sally Moreno.
The crash happened on Road 427 near Elliot Drive in Oakhurst.
Investigators say Hammond was walking home with family members when he was hit from behind by an SUV that left the scene.
After that night, loved ones created a memorial, which the community maintained. It served as a statement demanding justice for Hammond's death.
The California Highway Patrol worked for nearly two years, eventually tracing evidence to Yandell.
The case continues to catch the attention of the tight-knit mountain community, one where Hammond was well-known and is greatly missed.
"Eben was a light. It was always with friendship and love, you could always depend on him for everything. He was just one of those people that you want on the Earth much longer than he was," said Matt Sconce, Hammond's godfather.
Yandell's next court appearance is scheduled for September 12.
If ultimately convicted, he faces a maximum of six years behind bars.