Petara Cordero was the girlfriend of Cleveland Browns’ defensive end Chris Smith. Cordero tragically passed away at the age of 26 on September 11, 2019, two weeks after giving birth to the couple’s first child. Cordero, a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, had turned 26 in July 2019.
Cordero is survived by her parents as well as five siblings. Cordero was killed in a car accident in Ohio. Cleveland.com reports that Smith had been telling teammates how excited he was that his girlfriend and daughter were flying up for the weekend.
According to Smith and Cordero’s baby registry, the couple’s baby daughter was due on August 17. Instagram posts from both Cordero and Smith indicate that their baby, named Haven Harris Smith, was born on or around August 27. On March 23, Cordero posted a video showing the couple’s gender-reveal ceremony.
Cordero Was Hit by a Driver Who Told Police She ‘Had Been Drinking’
Cordero was killed on the morning of September 11 at around 2:00 a.m. when Smith’s 2019 Lamborghini blew a tire and crashed into a median wall, the Cleveland Police Department said. The crash happened along the West 140th Street exit along Interstate 90. As Cordero and Smith got out of the car, a woman in a Mazda hit the passenger’s side of Smith’s car, hitting Cordero. She was rushed to Fairview Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Fox Cleveland reports that the woman driving the Mazda told police that she had been drinking. Police have said that Smith was not impaired nor as he been charged with any crime in relation to the crash. Cleveland.com reports that the woman’s blood alcohol has been measured at 0.08 percent.
In a statement on the Browns website, Jimmy and Dee Haslam, owners of the team said, “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.”
Cordero’s Brother Wrote on Facebook: ‘This S*** Hurts So Bad!’
On the afternoon of September 11, dozens of tributes to Cordero had appeared on Facebook. Her brother confirmed her sad passing in a heartbreaking Facebook post that read, “I love you beautiful you will forever be missed I cant believe this. I cant believe I even got that call. I cant believe I’m even writing this. Rest in heaven baby sis I love you! ??????????? this shit hurts so bad!!!!”
One tribute from a friend read, “R.I.P Petara Cordero ?❤️.The memories we made will never fade, the laughs we had will never be forgotten, the memories we created will forever be cherished. You were a special person and it hurts my soul knowing you are gone. I’m not an emotional person but for you I will shed some tears. Praying for not only your family to get through this but also your boyfriend and y’all newborn daughter. I love you PT.”
While another friend said, “A beautiful soul, Petara Cordero. I can’t believe I’m seeing this. My heart hurts. Your amazing smile, your sweet soul, and that laugh all of us SW Wild Wing fam WILL never forget. I just pray for strength for your family, and that sweet babygirl you just had. I can’t wrap my head around this. Gone way too soon. Fly high babygirl.”
Cordero’s Final Instagram Post Showed Her Love for Chris Smith
Cordero’s final Instagram post showed her with Chris Smith. The caption for the photo read, “This is a forever thing, I love you through everything.” Cordero had spoken lovingly about Smith in an Instagram post on her birthday that read, “I always prayed to God for true happiness and unconditional love and here I am on my 26th birthday with a man that loves me a great deal, family and friends that mean the world to me all while waiting on my beautiful daughter Haven to arrive. Thank you God, you’re showing out.”
Upon the birth of her child, Cordero wrote on Instagram, “his little girl has filled my heart with so much joy and love !!I’m so thankful that God chose me to be her mommy!! So excited for this life journey with you!!! Haven Harris Smith.”
Smith wrote on the day of their daughter’s birth, “I’m so thankful to have another beautiful gift in this world… You are such a blessing to me and your mother!! Love you Petara and Baby Haven.” Smith has a daughter, Alaina, and a son, Jay, from a previous relationship.
Like Cordero, Smith Is a Native of North Carolina
Smith is from Salisbury, North Carolina, and attended West Rowan High School in Mount Ulla, North Carolina, around 35 miles north of Charlotte. Smith played college ball at the University of Arkansas and was drafted in 2014 by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Smith was traded to the Bengals in 2017 before signing with the Cleveland Browns in 2018. In his first season with the Browns, Smith played in 16 games, starting in two. He recorded 21 combined tackles, one sack, a forced fumble and two passes defensed.