BEREA, Ohio— Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said his team is “hurting” for defensive end Chris Smith after his girlfriend was killed in an accident.
Petara Cordero, who recently had a daughter with Smith, was struck by a car as she stood on the roadside Wednesday. Smith’s car had blown a tire and the 26-year-old Cordero exited the vehicle when she was stuck by an oncoming car driven by a woman who admitted to police she had been drinking.
Kitchens said the team will continue to support Smith, who is one of the team’s most popular players.
The first-year coach said the incident “goes beyond football” and has weighed heavily on him. Kitchens said he has “Chris is on my mind. Her family is on my mind. Her 4-week-old baby is on my mind.”
Kitchens called Smith a “good dude.” Smith is in his second year with the Browns.