News, Culture & Society

Chris Smith posts emotional tribute to his girlfriend who was struck and killed by drunk driver

The star defensive end for the Cleveland Browns whose girlfriend was struck and killed by a drunk driver early Wednesday morning paid tribute to her in his first public comments since the tragedy.

‘God has a plan for all of us we can’t understand but she is in a better place now and she can rest easy,’ Smith wrote on his Instagram page.

‘My wifey my best friend and the mother of my beautiful daughter. Love you baby.’

The caption ended with a heart emoji as well as the praying hands emoji and the hashtags #StayStrong and #RIPMyLove.

Petara Cordero

Chris Smith (left), a defensive end for the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, spoke out publicly for the first time on Friday about the death of his 26-year-old girlfriend, Petara Cordero (right), who was killed when she was struck by a drunk driver

'God has a plan for all of us we can't understand but she is in a better place now and she can rest easy,' Smith wrote on his Instagram account on Friday

‘God has a plan for all of us we can’t understand but she is in a better place now and she can rest easy,’ Smith wrote on his Instagram account on Friday

The post included a number of photographs of Cordero, including one of her wearing facial cream while Facetiming Smith.

Other photos showed Smith and Cordero together.

The woman who struck and killed Cordero told police she had been drinking, it was reported on Thursday. 

A police spokesperson identified the driver to the Daily Mail as 47-year-old Tracy McIvor, describing her as a ‘white female.’ 

Cordero and Smith had been driving down the highway in his Lamborghini when the tire on the car burst, causing the car to veer left, where it hit a median near the West 140th Street exit.  

McIvor has not been charged while police await the results of a toxicology report.  

The post included a number of photographs of Cordero, including one of her wearing facial cream while Facetiming Smith

The post included a number of photographs of Cordero, including one of her wearing facial cream while Facetiming Smith

Smith posted other photos of the two of them together. They are seen above with an unidentified individual

Smith posted other photos of the two of them together. They are seen above with an unidentified individual

Smith wrote on Friday: ‘My wifey my best friend and the mother of my beautiful daughter. Love you baby.’

Smith wrote on Friday: ‘My wifey my best friend and the mother of my beautiful daughter. Love you baby.’

The sports world was stunned by the news of Cordero's death on Wednesday

The sports world was stunned by the news of Cordero’s death on Wednesday

After his tire blew out, Smith pulled over to the shoulder and Cordero, who was unharmed in the crash, stepped out of the passenger-side door, where she was suddenly hit by McIvor’s Mazda from the opposite direction.

Police say McIvor admitted she had been drinking before she crashed into Cordero, according to News 5 Cleveland. 

The 26-year-old Cordero was taken to Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital but tragically she was pronounced dead a short while after.

Cordero and Smith, 27, had recently celebrated the birth of their daughter, Haven Harris.    

Browns players have since rallied around Smith, who is ‘a team favorite’ and a ‘big brother figure’ to some, according to Cleveland.com. 

Teammates such as quarterback Baker Mayfield have been continuously visiting with Smith.  

 

Petara Cordero

Chris Smith

Cordero, 26, was fatally struck by an oncoming vehicle after exiting Smith’s Lamborghini on I-90 West in Cleveland

Cordero and Smith recently celebrated the birth of their daughter, Haven Harris Smith, on August 27

Cordero and Smith recently celebrated the birth of their daughter, Haven Harris Smith, on August 27 

Cordero and Smith, 27, had been driving when the NFL star’s Lamborghini had a tire malfunction which sent the car spinning out of control and into the median ear the West 140th Street exit

Cordero and Smith, 27, had been driving when the NFL star’s Lamborghini had a tire malfunction which sent the car spinning out of control and into the median ear the West 140th Street exit

Cordero had stepped out of the car, at the median, without suffering serious injuries, when she was hit by a Mazda coming from the opposite direction

Cordero had stepped out of the car, at the median, without suffering serious injuries, when she was hit by a Mazda coming from the opposite direction

Cordeo shared photos of their baby girl, saying ‘This 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!!!’

Cordeo shared photos of their baby girl, saying ‘This 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!!!’

As Cordero wrote on Instagram back in August, 'This little girl has filled my heart with so much joy.' Here young Haven Harris Smith is seen being fed by her father

As Cordero wrote on Instagram back in August, ‘This little girl has filled my heart with so much joy.’ Here young Haven Harris Smith is seen being fed by her father 

Cordero posted extensive video of her baby shower on Instagram. She and her friends can be seen playing many common baby shower games, and even Smith can be seen taking part

Cordero wore a long, pink dress for her baby shower

Cordero posted extensive video of her baby shower on Instagram. She and her friends can be seen playing many common baby shower games, and even Smith can be seen taking part

‘Words cannot describe the sorrow we feel for Chris following the loss of his girlfriend, Petara,’ said Cleveland Brown owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam in a statement, revealing Cordero’s death.

‘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 shared his grief on Facebook: ‘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 s*** hurts so bad!!!’ 

Cordero’s tragic death comes less than a month after she and Smith celebrated the birth of their daughter, Haven Harris Smith.

The couple recently announced Haven’s birth in a series of heartfelt Instagram posts.

‘I’m so thankful to have another beautiful gift in this world my daughter Haven Harris Smith,’ the defensive end said on August 27. ‘You are such a blessing to me and your mother!! Love you Petara and Baby Have.’

Cordeo also shared photos of their baby girl, saying ‘This 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!!!’

Previously the couple revealed the gender of the child in a video posted to Instagram in March. Cordero’s caption read: ‘Overjoyed with this blessing God has given us. My heart is full. [We] can’t wait to meet our princess. Thank you God.’

That Instagram post has since become a space for people to share their condolences.  

Cordero and Smith, 27, had been driving down the highway when the NFL star's Lamborghini suffered a tire malfunction and sent the car spinning out of control into a median near the West 140th Street exit. Unharmed in the crash, Cordero stepped out of the passenger-side door, at the median, where she was suddenly hit by a Mazda coming from the opposite direction

Cordero and Smith, 27, had been driving down the highway when the NFL star’s Lamborghini suffered a tire malfunction and sent the car spinning out of control into a median near the West 140th Street exit. Unharmed in the crash, Cordero stepped out of the passenger-side door, at the median, where she was suddenly hit by a Mazda coming from the opposite direction

The daughter of Cordero and Chris Smith, Haven Harris Smith was born on August 27

 The daughter of Cordero and Chris Smith, Haven Harris Smith was born on August 27

Cordero recently celebrated her 26th birthday and marked the occasion by sharing some personal thoughts on Instagram. '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,' she wrote. 'Thank you God, you’re showing out'

Cordero recently celebrated her 26th birthday and marked the occasion by sharing some personal thoughts on Instagram. ‘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,’ she wrote. ‘Thank you God, you’re showing out’ 

Cordero posted several pictures of herself on Instagram in the months before giving birth

Cordero posted several pictures of herself on Instagram in the months before giving birth

Cordero's Instagram account has become a space for those who are grieving. One commenter wrote 'Rest in paradise beautiful angel,' while many others simply added, 'RIP'

Cordero’s Instagram account has become a space for those who are grieving. One commenter wrote ‘Rest in paradise beautiful angel,’ while many others simply added, ‘RIP’

One friend of Cordero's shared several group pictures on Facebook: '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'

One friend of Cordero’s shared several group pictures on Facebook: ‘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’

Cordero's brother shared his grief on Facebook: '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 s*** hurts so bad!!!'

Cordero’s brother shared his grief on Facebook: ‘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 s*** hurts so bad!!!’

Similarly, Cordero posted extensive video of her baby shower on Instagram. She and her friends can be seen playing many common baby shower games, and even Smith can be seen taking part.

She also shared a picture of a letter sent to her by a co-worker, who gave her $5 ‘to start a little piggy bank.’

‘I’ve watched you grow over the last couple of years,’ the letter reads, ‘and it’s been such a pleasure working with you!’

Haven Harris Smith (pictured) is not Chris's first child. He also has an older son and daughter, as seen on his Instagram account. Haven was born on August 27

Haven Harris Smith (pictured) is not Chris’s first child. He also has an older son and daughter, as seen on his Instagram account. Haven was born on August 27

Cordero later wrote on Instagram, ‘I feel so loved,’ following her baby shower.  

In July, Cordero shared pictures of a trip she took with Smith to Puerto Rico, writing, ‘Birthday trip with my baby.’ 

One friend of Cordero’s shared several group pictures on Facebook. 

‘The memories we made will never fade, the laughs we had will never be forgotten, the memories we created will forever be cherished,’ he wrote. ‘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.’

Another friend responded to the post: ‘She will definitely be missed. That infectious laugh. Her spirit. Everything about her. Bro. I’m completely heart broken.’

Cordero recently celebrated her 26th birthday and marked the occasion by sharing some personal thoughts on Instagram. 

‘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,’ she wrote. ‘Thank you God, you’re showing out.’

Cordero wrote on Instagram, 'I feel so loved,' following her baby shower

Cordero shared video of her friends playing games at her recent baby shower

Cordero wrote on Instagram, ‘I feel so loved,’ following her baby shower 

Previously the couple revealed the gender of the child in a video posted to Instagram in March. Cordero's caption read: 'Overjoyed with this blessing God has given us. My heart is full. [We] can't wait to meet our princess. Thank you God.' That Instagram post has since become a space for people to share their condolences

Previously the couple revealed the gender of the child in a video posted to Instagram in March. Cordero’s caption read: ‘Overjoyed with this blessing God has given us. My heart is full. [We] can’t wait to meet our princess. Thank you God.’ That Instagram post has since become a space for people to share their condolences

As a friend of Cordero's (left) wrote on Facebook: 'She will definitely be missed. That infectious laugh. Her spirit. Everything about her. Bro. I’m completely heart broken'

As a friend of Cordero’s (left) wrote on Facebook: ‘She will definitely be missed. That infectious laugh. Her spirit. Everything about her. Bro. I’m completely heart broken’ 

Browns players were notified of Cordero’s death during a team meeting on Wednesday morning and counselors will be on site to help staff and players in need, WJW reports.

‘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,’ a representative from the Browns said.

Just days before her death, the first-time mom posted a photograph of Smith kissing her on the forehead, saying, ‘This is a forever thing, I love you through everything.’

In July, Cordero shared pictures of a trip she took with Smith to Puerto Rico, writing, 'Birthday trip with my baby'

In July, Cordero shared pictures of a trip she took with Smith to Puerto Rico, writing, ‘Birthday trip with my baby’

Since the news of her death became public knowledge on Wednesday afternoon, friends and family members flocked to Facebook to pay tribute to Cordero. 

Many friends remember Cordero as a ‘special person’ and ‘beautiful soul’.

‘I can’t believe I’m seeing this,’ friend Kassandra Blaire said. ‘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.’

A native of North Carolina, Smith attended Arkansas and was later picked by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. After a season in Cincinnati, Smith signed a three-year deal with the Browns in March of 2018.

Smith currently serves as the top backup behind former Pro Bowl selection, Olivier Vernon.

The NFL veteran has been active in charity work, specifically helping the Akron Children’s Hospital and the National Kidney Foundation. 

Smith and Cordero shared video of their baby gender reveal party in March

Smith and Cordero shared video of their baby gender reveal party in March

The couple lit a pair of smoke bombs, which began spewing pink smoke

The couple lit a pair of smoke bombs, which began spewing pink smoke 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.