Petara Cordero, the 26-year-old girlfriend of Browns defensive end Chris Smith, died Wednesday in a car accident on a highway in Cleveland, and the tragedy occurred a month after she gave birth to a baby girl.
According to the Browns, Cordero and Smith pulled over to the side of a highway after Smith’s car had a tire malfunction at around 2am, which resulted in the vehicle spinning and hitting a median, per Daily Mail. Cordero was struck by an oncoming vehicle on the I-90 West after exiting the car.
The 47-year-old female driver admitted to authorities that she had been drinking, News 5 Cleveland reports. Charges have not been filed against her as toxicology reports are pending.
Smith was left unimpaired.
Cordero was taken to Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
“Words cannot describe the sorrow we feel for Chris following the loss of his girlfriend, Petara,” Browns team owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam said in a statement. “Our entire organization mourns with Chris, his family and the Cordero family. We will do everything possible to offer them our support, comfort and any resources in this most difficult time.”
Smith and Cordero celebrated the birth of their daughter, Haven Harris Smith, on August 27.
“I’m so thankful to have another beautiful gift in this world my daughter Haven Harris Smith,” Smith said in an August 27 Instagram post. “You are such a blessing to me and your mother!! Love you Petara and Baby Have.”
“Smith will receive the full team’s support of resources and will have the opportunity to grieve as he sees best fit, including being excused from or participating in any team activities, if desired,” a representative from the Browns said.