South Carolina TV journalists die in weather-related accident

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(Photo: WYFF-TV/Handout)

A pair of journalists were killed in North Carolina on Monday after an accident while on assignment, their employer said.

Photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer and news anchor Mike McCormick were covering severe weather when a tree fell on their vehicle around 2:30 p.m. local time Monday, local authorities said.

The pair were employed by South Carolina NBC affiliate WYFF-TV (Channel 4). In a statement published online, the station said the pair had been working locally for several years.

“All of us at WYFF News 4 are grieving,” the station said. “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.”

North Carolina State Highway Patrol is investigating the accident, and roads have been closed in and around the scene, police said.