A television anchorman and photojournalist for a South Carolina news station died Monday after a tree fell and crushed their Sport Utility Vehicle while monitoring Subtropical Storm Alberto's storm.
The anchor, Mike McCormick, and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer worked for WYFF News 4 in Greenville, South Carolina, and were about 30 miles north of there in North Carolina on Monday afternoon when authorities say the tree hit their SUV as they drove along Highway 176.
When the fire brigade arrived at 2.30pm they found the S.U.V. While driving with the engine running, Chief Geoffrey Tennant from the Fire Department in Tryon, NC said to local news media.
Chief Tennant said that Mr. McCormick had interviewed him for only 1
"We talked a bit about how he wanted us to stay safe and we wanted him to stay safe," Chief Tennant said of Mr. McCormick.
Subtropical storm Alberto – the first storm of the season landing at the Florida Panhandle on Monday night, and what the National Meteorological Service called "broad circulation" around the storm brought heavy rain to some parts of the Carolinas on Monday.
[ Up to a foot of rain was partially possible as Subtropical storm Alberto landed ]
Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina issued a statement late Monday warning against heavy rains, floods and landslides. He urged the residents to take the storm seriously. Rain that had fallen last week had wet the ground, causing potential flooding and landslides, the governor's office said, and in recent hours and days officials in Polk County have suggested that some residents voluntarily evacuate the area (19659002) "Two journalists working to inform the public about this storm tragically lost their lives and we mourn with their families, friends and colleagues," said Governor Cooper.
Steve Abbott, a spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Transportation, said part of the freeway was temporarily closed at one point to eliminate mud and other flood damage, but it reopened about a week ago.
"It's a" It's important to keep the highway open, "Abbott said, adding that the officials had" no concerns "about the road.
Public transportation officials said they had no information It is anticipated that the portion of Highway 176 where the accident occurred will be closed at least until Tuesday afternoon.The North Carolina Highway Patrol investigated the fatal accident, officials said.
There is a long tradition of television crews operating in the midst of the deadline in dangerous storms, partly to show their intrepid desire to be a major event on the ground, but the news of dangerous stand-ups – in which a local correspondent speaks with the camera – is increasingly questioned and came in the Last year, when videos of reporters were seized by powerful winds, social media widely used them.
Chief Tennant called e Months episode a "Freak of Nature" appearance.
"It's one of those things that you know will happen, or you can predict it will happen," he said. "You do not know when."
Both men were in their 30s, said the station.
Mr. McCormick joined WYFF News 4 in April 2007 as a reporter in the newsroom of Spartanburg, S.C. before becoming anchor in 2014, the station said. His ward biography is said to have come from a sister station to WYFF News 4 in Arkansas, where he received prizes for his investigative reports on identity theft.
Mr. Smeltzer was the photographer in the Spartanburg office, and WYFF News 4 said he joined the station in February. He had been filming news in the area for more than a decade.
"We are all grieving at WYFF News 4," says an article on the station's website. "We are a family and we thank you, our extended family, for your comfort as we grieve and comfort the families of Mike and Aaron."
Alan Blinder contributed the report.