Cleveland Browns defensive end Chris Smith blew a tire while driving him and his girlfriend in the early morning hours on Wednesday. Things then took a tragic turn.
Smith’s Lamborghini swerved and hit the median while the couple was riding along I-90 West in the Cleveland area after the tire blew. At that time, no injuries were suffered. But while Smith’s girlfriend, Petara Cordero, was standing on the shoulder of the road while she and Smith waited for roadside help, a car driving the same stretch of highway hit the passenger side of Smith’s car and Petara. The 26-year-old Cordero was rushed to the hospital and later pronounced dead.
The driver of the car that hit Cordero admitted to drinking and driving. Though toxicology tests are still being done to determine exactly how impaired the driver was.
Smith, according to police, was not impaired while he was driving.
The incident is still under investigation, and police have not filed any charges at this time.
As if the incident wasn’t tragic enough, Smith and Cordero gave birth to a baby girl four weeks ago. The Browns excused their defensive end from their preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts on August 17th so he could attend the birth.
Jimmy and Dee Haslem, owners of the Browns, released the following statement on behalf of the organization:
“Words cannot describe the sorrow we feel for Chris following the loss of his girlfriend, Petara. 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, 27, is in his sixth NFL season. He was drafted by the Jaguars in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He spent three seasons in Jacksonville before playing 2017 in Cincinnati for the Bengals. He’s now in his second season with the Browns.