CLEVELAND, Ohio – Petara Cordero, a friend of Brown's Chris Smith end, was struck and killed early Wednesday morning on I-90 in Cleveland by a woman who told Cleveland police she had been drinking.
Smith and Cordero, who had a daughter, Haven Harris Smith, 4 weeks ago, left Tuesday night because players had a day off on Wednesday, but police said Smith was not impaired.
On Tuesday, after training, Smith told cleveland.com how excited he was that Petar and Haven had flown in from Charlotte, North Carolina, to see him this weekend. He expressed how blessed and grateful he is to have Petar and Haven in his life, along with his two older children who are not Petar, and how happy he is.
"Words cannot describe the grief we are experiencing for Chris after the loss of his girlfriend Petar," Dee and Jimmy Haslam said in a statement. "Our whole organization is grieving with Chris, his family and the Cordero family. We will do everything we can to offer them our support, comfort and any resources at this most difficult time. ”
Browns players were notified of the tragedy during a Wednesday morning meeting. Browns coach Freddie Kitchon visited Smith at his home earlier in the day, and a source told cleveland.com teammates, including Baker Mayfield, with whom Smith is close, have been visiting him all day.
One of his best friends, a nose
A favorite for the team, Smith has many close friends on the team, including co-captain Christian Kirksey. He is the big brother of some, including those on the defensive side of Jenard Avery. News of the tragedy shook the team as it prepares for Monday's game against the Jets.
Smith may decide to play on Monday against the Jets depending on how he feels over the next few days, a source said.
A 47-year-old woman who struck Cordero around 2 a.m. told Cleveland police she drank before the fatal crash, police said. Investigators are awaiting the results of toxicology tests to determine if a woman's blood alcohol content is above the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
The woman was not charged until Wednesday afternoon, police said.
Smith and Cordero headed west on I-90 near the exit ramp of West 1
A short while later a woman in a 2017 Mazda 3 approached a disabled Lamborghini. Mazda bounced to his right, slamming open the side doors and then Cordero.
Cordero was taken to Fairview Hospital by Cleveland EMS, where she was pronounced dead.
A female driver of a Mazda was transported to Fairview Hospital by Cleveland EMS, where she was treated and had to be released.
This question remains under investigation.
In addition to the team's standard internal resources, the Browns will have on-site counselors throughout the week to provide emotional support and care for all players and staff.
Smith was released from the Browns-Colts preseason game on August 17 to attend Haven's birth. According to Brown, Smith will receive the full support and resources of the team and will be able to mourn as he sees fit, including being excused or involved in any team activities if he wishes.
Do you like what you read? Want more? Subscribe to Football Insider for exclusive content for the Browns, including daily texts from Mary Kay Cabot.