TV News Journalists Mike McCormick and Aaron Smeltzer Killed By Falling Tree While Covering North Carolina Storm

WYFF News 4 anchor Mike McCormick and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer were killed Monday in Western North Carolina.

Two TV news journalists out of South Carolina were tragically killed over the holiday while covering a powerful storm.

Anchor Mike McCormick and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer died Monday after a tree fell on their SUV.

Their station WYFF, the Inside Edition affiliate station in Greenville, said in a statement the accident happened on Highway 176 in Polk County.

"Mike and Aaron were stellar journalists, dedicated to covering news in this market," John Humphries WYFF President and General Manager, said in the statement. "They were beloved members of our newsroom, and we will miss them tremendously. Today is a difficult day, and there will be many more ahead."

News Director Bruce Barkley said the entire station is grieving.

“We thank you for your comfort as we mourn," Barkley said. "We ask that you keep Mike and Aaron's families in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."

McCormick is originally from Florida and started at WYFF in 2007 as a reporter. In 2014, he was named weekend anchor at WYFF.

When not reporting or anchoring, you would find McCormick in the kitchen where he loved using local, fresh ingredients, the statement said.

Smeltzer started at WYFF earlier this year as a photojournalist. Originally from Tazewell, Virginia, he’s been covering news in the area for more than a decade. He was an avid baseball fan and loved traditional country music.