During the early morning hours of September 11, Cleveland Browns defenseman Chris Smith and his girlfriend, Petara Cordero, were driving down I-90 West in Cleveland.

Smith was driving his Lamborghini when one of the tires blew out, causing Smith to lose control of the vehicle and sending them into the median. Neither Smith nor Cordero suffered significant injuries as a result of a crash.

Sadly, however, after Cordero made her way out of the vehicle, an oncoming car hit Cordero. The 26-year-old was pronounced dead after she was rushed to the Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital.

As Dearly previously reported, Cordero’s unexpected passing comes just weeks after she gave birth to her and Smith’s first child together, a daughter named Haven Harris Smith.

According to CNN, the woman driving the Mazda that struck Cordero admitted to drinking before the accident took place. Both CNN and the Browns report that Smith was not impaired at the time of the crash.

However, authorities are awaiting toxicology reports before determining if any charges will be brought in this case.

Now, Smith is opening up for the first time since Cordero’s passing.

The NFL star wrote on Instagram:

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. My wifey my best friend and the mother of my beautiful daughter. Love you baby. #StayStrong #RIPMyLove

In another post shared to his Instagram story, Smith revealed that he, along with several more of Cordero’s loved ones, got matching tattoos in honor of the late mom. The tattoos say, “Stay Strong,” which matches the one Cordero sported on her collarbone.

Hundreds of people reached out to the football player on Instagram, offering their condolences:

I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately bro. Praying for you and your family. Much love

Praying for peace and healing my brotha.

Constantly keeping you in prayer bro.

During a press conference on Thursday, Browns head coach, Freddie Kitchens, said:

“We try to build a culture around here where we hold each other accountable. When you do that, you have to start caring about people. This goes beyond football. This was a 26-year old young lady at the highlight of her life. Not to get too personal about it… Chris is a good dude. She was a good girl. We just want to support him in any way we can.”

The team also provided Smith any amount of grieving time he may need. It’s unclear if he will suit up for the Browns’ Monday night game against the New York Jets on September 16.

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NFL’s Chris Smith Speaks out Several Days After His Girlfriend Was Hit and Killed by an Oncoming Car

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