Girlfriend of Cleveland Browns DE Chris Smith killed in roadside crash


(AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)

CLEVELAND (AP) – The girlfriend of Browns defensive end Chris Smith has been killed in an accident. She was 26.

The team said Petara Cordero, died when she was struck by an oncoming car on I-90 West at around 2 a.m. Smith and Cordero had pulled to the side of the road after his Lamborghini had a tire malfunction and spun out. She exited the vehicle and was standing on the road’s shoulder when the other car smashed into the passenger side of Smith’s car.

According to a Cleveland police report provided by the Browns, the other driver admitted to drinking. The accident remains under investigation.

The police said Smith was not injured.

Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam offered their condolences to Smith, who signed with the team last year.

“Words cannot describe the sorrow we feel for Chris following the loss of his girlfriend, Petara,” the Haslams said. “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.”

Cleveland’s players were told of the accident during a meeting and coach Freddie Kitchens visited Smith at his home.

Smith and Cordero recently celebrated the birth of a daughter, Haven Harris Smith. He had been excused from the team’s exhibition against Indianapolis last month for the baby’s arrival.

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