TV anchor, photojournalist killed when tree falls on vehicle
29 May, 2018, 09:15 | Author: Carlos George
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/KHOG, for almost three years.
Two journalists in North Carolina died Monday when a tree fell onto their SUV, WYFF-TV reports.
Virginia native Smeltzer worked as a photographer in the station's Spartanburg bureau and had just joined WYFF in February.
Highway Patrol said the WYFF news vehicle was traveling south on Highway 176 when a tree fell and hit the vehicle. "And you, our extended family, we thank you for your comfort as we mourn and as we seek to comfort the families".
Tennant's voice broke Monday as he talked about recognizing the WYFF-TV vehicle under the large tree and the two men dead inside on U.S. Highway 176 near Tryon.
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Anchor Carol Goldsmith said on air that McCormick and Smeltzer were "beloved members of our team - our family". But heavy rain, partly from the fringes of the storm, has caused flooding concerns across the region.
McCormick anchored the station's weekend newscasts and had been at the station since 2007.
"I have never seen an event like this one", Tennant, who has been in fire service in Polk County for 44 years, said. "We will all miss them both very much", anchor Gordon Dill said. "We ask that you keep Mike and Aaron's families in your thoughts and prayers during this hard time".
The TV vehicle engine's was still running and the transmission was in drive when crews found it. He started working at WYFF just this year, according to the release.
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It was a repeat of another major flood in 2016, when two people were killed and the city suffered millions of dollars in damage. The devastation was especially hard to comprehend coming barely two years after the last flood that ravaged the city, he said.
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Some are already asking questions about whether enough was done after the last flood to prevent a similar catastrophe. In one instance, a wedding party was forced to flee the Main Street Ballroom when the waters burst through the doors.