TV news anchor and photojournalist killed after tree falls on their vehicle

A TV news anchor and photojournalist were killed after a tree fell on their vehicle in North Carolina.

WYFF- TV anchor Mike McCormick and Aaron Smeltzer were covering severe flooding in North Carolina associated with Subtropical Storm Alberto.

The two men were driving on U.S. Highway 176 near Tryon when a large tree fell on their SUV, according to North Carolina Highway Patrol Master Trooper Murico Stephens.

A Facebook post by the station reads, "All of us at WYFF News 4 are grieving. We are a family. Thank you for all of your condolences."

Tryon Fire Chief Geoffrey Tennant blamed the incident on a week's worth of rain and called the deaths "a freak of nature."

Tennant had just taped an interview with McCormick before the accident.

"We talked a little bit about how he wanted us to stay safe and we wanted him to stay safe," Tennant said. "Then of course 10 or 15 minutes later we get the call and it was him and his photographer."

Both men were in their 30's and had worked in the area as journalists for over a decade.

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