Petara Cordero, the girlfriend of Cleveland Browns defensive end Chris Smith, was killed in the early hours of Wednesday after being hit by a vehicle on I-90 westbound near the West 140th Street exit ramp.
She died only two weeks after she gave birth to their first child.
Cordero, 26, was reportedly hit by an oncoming vehicle on I-90 West at about 2 a.m. after Smith, 27, was forced to stop their Lamborghini on the highway median following a tire malfunction.
The tire malfunction caused the car to spin and run into the median strip at a point near the West 140th Street exit ramp.
An oncoming vehicle, a Mazda, reportedly driven by a 47-year-old woman, hit Cordero after she stepped out the car. Cordero was rushed to Fairview Hospital where doctors pronounced her dead.
Police said that the 47-year-old woman who hit Cordero later confessed that she had been drinking before the accident. Police did not immediately file charges against the woman because they were awaiting toxicology reports.
The tragic incident happened after NFL star Chris Smith and Petara Cordero welcomed their first child, Haven Harris Smith, on August 27.
“I’m so thankful to have another beautiful gift in this world my daughter Haven Harris Smith,” Smith wrote in an Instagram post. “You are such a blessing to me and your mother!! Love you Petara and Baby Have.”
Smith’s Cleveland Browns teammates were told about the tragic incident on Wednesday, during a team meeting.
“Words cannot describe the sorrow we feel for Chris following the loss of his girlfriend, Petara,” Cleveland Browns owners, Dee and Jimmy Haslam, said in a statement.
“Words cannot describe the sorrow we feel for Chris following the loss of his girlfriend, Petara.”
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) September 11, 2019
“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.”
People have been reacting to the sad news on social media.
Very sad news……
Petara Cordero, GF of Browns' Chris Smith, Killed in Car Accident Weeks After Giving Birth to Their 1st Child Together https://t.co/luKfgToUtx
— Dawn Lightsey (@DawnsKiss) September 11, 2019
.@TTalkSports @j19writes would like to sent Chris Smith and Petara Cordero’s family prayers and our deepest sympathy along with the granting of the peace that is needed to get through a time as this. ?????? #Clevelandbrowns #Browns
— j19writes (@j19writes) September 11, 2019
Prayers to Chris Smith of the Cleveland Browns his infant baby and girlfriend family. That's so sad.
— Rell (@PoetAndrews) September 11, 2019
This is devastating news. Cleveland Browns DE Chris Smith's girlfriend was killed in an accident on I-90 this morning.
It’s been a heartbreaking few weeks. ? https://t.co/9v2ScktEXK
— Kelly Dobeck (@KellyDWeather) September 11, 2019
My heart goes out o Chris Smith of the Cleveland Browns. I personally do not know Chris, but I want him to know that we are praying for him and his daughter. Such a tragedy. Stay strong brother. We love you.
— ohionative63 (@ohionative63) September 11, 2019
Smith was not injured in the accident.
Who was Petara Cordero?
Petara Cordero was a native of Charlotte, North Carolina. She was born in July 1993, making her 26 years old at the time of her death. She died only two weeks after she gave birth to Haven Harris Smith, her first child with Chris Smith, on August 27, 2019.
Cordero had an Instagram account where she posted photos of herself, her baby, husband, family, and friends.
In her last Instagram post, she captioned a photo showing her with Smith: “This is a forever thing, I love you through everything.”