By: Savannah Smith | 05-29-2018 | News
Photo credit: Twitter | @Breaking911

North Carolina – Journalists Covering Alberto Killed When Tree Fell On Their Vehicle

It’s a sad day for journalism today when a TV news anchor and a photojournalist were killed on Monday in what could be considered both a freak accident and part of the perils of the profession as a tree tragically fell on their vehicle in North Carolina as they reported on flooding and severe weather associated with Subtropical Storm Alberto.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The news community is mourning today after a TV reporter and photojournalist were killed while covering <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Alberto</a>: <a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) <a href="">May 29, 2018</a></blockquote>

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The journalists involved in the tragedy while covering a disaster have been identified as NBC affiliate WYFF-TV anchor Mike McCormick and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer who both worked in the Greenville, South Carolina, market for more than a decade.

Anchor Carol Goldsmith broke the shocking and sad news on air and emotionally said: "Mike and Aaron were beloved members of our team — our family,"

North Carolina Highway Patrol Master Trooper Murico Stephens said the two were driving on U.S. Highway 176 near Tryon when the large tree fell on their vehicle.

McCormick and Smeltzer had then just finished interviewing Tryon Fire Chief Geoffrey Tennant. They even told Tennant to be careful with Alberto's remnants, expected to bring more heavy rains and mudslides this week. Tennant told them to be careful, too, not knowing what such words would mean to the pair just minutes later.

Ten minutes after leaving him, Tennant received the shocking call about the ill-fated pair of journalists.

Tennant said the journalists died instantly, describing the tragedy as a “freak of nature.” The TV vehicle engine’s was still running and the transmission was in drive when the rescue crews arrived and found them.

McCormick was a weekend anchor for the Greenville station who covered Spartanburg and surrounding areas. He became part of the station in April 2007.

Smeltzer worked in Greenville for overa decade, coming to WYFF-TV from a different station in the market. He Twitter biography proudly states his winning of four Emmys.

Authorities did not directly blame the up to 2 inches of rain that fell Monday from the fringes of Alberto for the journalists’ unfortunate deaths.

Media colleagues, the duo’s former subjects, and social media users posted their sympathies online for the pair’s untimely deaths.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Thoughts and prayers to WYFF-TV journalists anchor Mike McCormick and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer. Both died today covering severe weather when a tree fell on their SUV in North Carolina today. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Chris O&#39;Connell (@CoconnellFox29) <a href="">May 28, 2018</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Over the last decade as a PIO, I have had the pleasure of doing more interviews with Mike McCormick than I can count. We became friends both professionally and personally and he will be greatly missed. Prayers for Mike and Aaron&#39;s families and their extended family <a href="">@wyffnews4</a></p>&mdash; Trooper Bill SCHP (@SCHP_Troop3) <a href="">May 28, 2018</a></blockquote>

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Sending hugs and prayers to the families, friends and co-workers.</p>&mdash; Lena🤦🏻‍♀️ (@My_corner_table) <a href="">May 29, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Twitter: #MAGA #KeepAmericaGreat! #Alberto #NorthCarolina #Journalists #FreakNature #TragicDeath

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