News anchor, photojournalist killed when tree falls on vehicle

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Two members of a North Carolina news station died in a crash on Highway 176 in Polk County on Monday.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol reported that two WYFF employees were hit by a tree while driving southbound.

Reporter Mike McCormick and photographer Aaron Smeltzer were in Polk County covering the dangerous weather conditions there.

McCormick started working at WYFF in 2007 as a reporter in Spartanburg. He was also the anchor of the station’s weekend evening newscast.

Smeltzer previously worked at Nexstar station WSPA-TV before joining WYFF earlier this year.

Smeltzer was also a photojournalist at WVNS for several years.

Highway Patrol said the WYFF news vehicle was traveling south on Highway 176 when a tree fell and hit the vehicle.

Polk County officials said NC State Highway Patrol is handling the investigation and said Highway 176 is shut down between Thompson Road in Saluda and Harmon Field Road in Tryon.

People are being asked to avoid the area.

The 7News team expresses our sincere condolences to the families of both Mike McCormick and Aaron Smeltzer, and to the WYFF News 4 team on their loss.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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