POLK COUNY -- Anchor Mike McCormick and WYFF News 4 SC photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer died Monday when a tree fell on their SUV.
WYFF reported the two were traveling around 2:30 p.m. ET on U.S. 176 near Tryon, North Carolina about 25 miles northwest of the TV station North Carolina, when a tree fell on their when the tree fell on their station's vehicle, WYFF-TV reported.
News Director Bruce Barkley said in a press release."The WYFF News 4 family would like to thank everyone for their thoughts and condolences during this difficult time. Your outpouring of support has been felt by all of us. Please continue to remember Mike and Aaron's families during this difficult time,"
"I had done an interview with Mr. McCormick about 10 minutes before we got the call," Tryon Fire Chief Geoffrey Tennant said. "And we had talked a little bit about how he wanted us to stay safe and I wanted him to stay safe."
"Ten minutes later we get the call and it was them,” Tennant said at a news conference.
"Two journalists working to keep the public informed about this storm have tragically lost their lives, and we mourn with their families, friends and colleagues," Gov. Cooper said. "North Carolina needs to take Alberto seriously. I urge everyone to keep a close eye on forecasts, warnings and road conditions, especially in western North Carolina where even heavier rain is predicted through tomorrow."
WNCTIMES will keep Mike and Aarron's families in our thoughts.