A South Carolina news anchor and a photojournalist were killed Monday when a tree fell on their SUV in western North Carolina where the pair was on assignment covering the bad weather moving through the region.
North Carolina state trooper Murico Stephens said the tree fell across U.S. Highway 176 near Tryon around 2:30 p.m. striking the WYFF-TV vehicle and crushing it.
The area has received heavy rain from the fringes of Subtropical Storm Alberto.
Anchor Mike McCormick and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer were heading to a story when they were killed, WYFF-TV said.
WYFF News 4 anchor Mike McCormick and WYFF News 4 photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer died Monday when a tree fell on their SUV. https://t.co/VZZKA6K6qq All of us at WYFF News 4 are grieving. We are a family. pic.twitter.com/IQmZ6prUIH— WYFF News 4 (@wyffnews4) May 28, 2018
WYFF anchor Carol Goldsmith said on air that McCormick and Smeltzer were "beloved members of our team - our family."
The tree fell in Polk County not far from where a landslide killed a woman in her home on May 19 after heavy rains.
WYFF-TV is based in Greenville, South Carolina.
SO SADDENED by the death of two WYFF employees in Polk Co. This afternoon their vehicle was toppled by a tree on 176. I'll remember reporter Mike McCormick for being a consummate pro. Photographer Aaron Smeltzer had a great sense of humor. RIP. Photos from @wyffnews4 pic.twitter.com/i749CmyLmU— John Le WLOS Reporter (@AbsoluteLe) May 28, 2018
Our hearts go out to our friends at @wyffnews4 in the Upstate amid news of a tragic accident. One of their news anchors and a photojournalist died today when a tree fell on their vehicle while covering a story.https://t.co/M0uhXH7onK— ABC News 4 (@ABCNews4) May 28, 2018
Horrible news from our sister station in Greenville, SC BREAKING: NBC-affiliate WYFF's news crew dies after tree falls on vehicle in NChttps://t.co/Erl2hINyEt https://t.co/Erl2hINyEt— Brad Panovich (@wxbrad) May 28, 2018
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