TV anchor, photojournalist killed covering story when tree crushes SUV

South Carolina news anchor and a photojournalist were killed Monday when a tree fell on their SUV in western North Carolina where the pair was on assignment covering the bad weather moving through the region.

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North Carolina state trooper Murico Stephens said the tree fell across U.S. Highway 176 near Tryon around 2:30 p.m. striking the WYFF-TV vehicle and crushing it.

The area has received heavy rain from the fringes of Subtropical Storm Alberto.

Anchor Mike McCormick and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer were heading to a story when they were killed, WYFF-TV said.

WYFF anchor Carol Goldsmith said on air that McCormick and Smeltzer were "beloved members of our team - our family."

The tree fell in Polk County not far from where a landslide killed a woman in her home on May 19 after heavy rains.

WYFF-TV is based in Greenville, South Carolina.

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