Girlfriend of Cleveland Browns' Chris Smith dies in car accident weeks after giving birth

Chris Smith, the defensive end for the Cleveland Browns, is in mourning after Petara Cordero, his girlfriend and the mother of his child died when she was hit by a car.

"Petara Cordero, the girlfriend of Browns defensive end Chris Smith, was killed Wednesday morning in a car accident on I-90 West in Cleveland," the Browns said in a statement confirming the news.

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"Cordero and Smith were pulled over to the side of the highway after Smith's vehicle had a tire malfunction, resulting in a one-car accident as the vehicle entered a spin and ultimately hit the median, the statement continued. "After exiting the car without significant injuries, Cordero was struck by an oncoming vehicle. Cleveland Police and paramedics arrived on scene shortly after the incident."

Cleveland police said in a statement the woman driving the oncoming vehicle, a 2017 Mazda 3, admitted that she had been drinking, according to CNN.

Police said Smith was not impaired.

UsWeekly reported that Smith posted about the birth of his daughter, Haven Harris Smith, last month. The Instagram post showed Harris smiling as she held the newborn.

"I'm so thankful to have another beautiful gift in this world my daughter Haven Harris Smith," the athlete captioned the photo. You are such a blessing to me and your mother!! Love you Petara and Baby Haven."

"Browns players were notified of the incident during a team meeting Wednesday morning," the team statement said. "Browns coach Freddie Kitchens visited Smith at his home earlier in the day.

"In addition to the team’s standard in-house resources, the Browns will have counselors onsite throughout the week to provide emotional support and care to all players and staff."

The statement continued:

"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."

The incident is being investigated. No charges have been filed.

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