Tryon, NC: WYFF Channel 4 News is mourning the lost of anchor Mike McCormick and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer after a tree fell on their vehicle.
NBC affiliate WYFF Channel 4 is mourning the lost of news anchor Mike McCormick and news photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer after a tree fell on their vehicle on Monday, May 28th, 2018 near Tryon, North Carolina.
The accident happened on Highway 176 in while they were covering the impact of heavy rain in that area.
According to Tryon Fire Chief Geoffrey Tennant, the engine of their vehicle was running and the transmission was in drive when authorities arrived at the scene about 2:30pm ET.
The tree that fell on their vehicle was about 3 feet in diameter and had stood back off the road.
According to Tryon Fire Chief Geoffrey Tennant, the ground was saturated and the tree’s root system failed.
Tryon Fire Chief Geoffrey Tennant telling NBC affiliate WYFF Channel 4 News that he had just spoken with Mike and Aaron before the accident.
“It personally affected me a little bit because I had done an interview with Mr. McCormick about 10 minutes before we got the call. And we had talked a little bit about how he wanted us to stay safe and I wanted him to stay safe and of course 10 or 15 minutes later we got the call and it was him and his photographer. It’s the first time I ever met either one of those two gentleman, but you feel a sense of responsibility to them,” Tryon Fire Chief Geoffrey Tennant told NBC affiliate WYFF Channel 4 News.
Mike McCormick joined WYFF News 4 in April 2007 as a reporter in the Spartanburg newsroom. In 2014, he was also named anchor of WYFF News 4 on Sundays at 6:00pm and 11:00pm. Mike came to the Upstate from Arkansas, where he was a reporter and fill-in anchor at one of WYFF 4’s sister stations, KHBS and KHOG, for nearly 3 years. Mike graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in broadcast journalism and theater arts. He had two dogs, both adopted from the Spartanburg Humane Society. When he was not reporting or anchoring the news, you would find him in the kitchen. He loved using local, fresh ingredients from the Hub City Farmers’ Market.
Aaron Smeltzer was the photographer in the Spartanburg bureau. He joined the WYFF News 4 family in February of this year. Aaron shot news for more than a decade in our region. He was originally from Tazewell, Virginia, and graduated from Radford University with a degree in broadcast video communications. He was an avid baseball fan. Aaron loved traditional country music- including Keith Whitley, Randy Travis and Alabama, just to name a few.
In a message, NBC affiliate WYFF Channel 4 said, “All of us at WYFF News 4 are grieving. We are a family and we thank you, our extended family, for your comfort as we mourn and as we seek to comfort the families of Mike and Aaron.”
**** ZachNews sends our thoughts, prayers, and condolences to the family and friends of NBC affiliate WYFF Channel 4 News Anchor Mike McCormick and Photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer. ****
** Picture Above from NBC affiliate WYFF Channel 4: **