Mike McCormick and Aaron Smeltzer, a news anchor and photojournalist for Hearst’s WYFF Greenville, S.C., respectively, died on Monday when a tree fell on their SUV as they were out covering severe weather. When fire personnel arrived, they found the SUV in drive with the engine running.
McCormick joined WYFF in 2007 before becoming an anchor in 2014.
Smeltzer joined the station in February, but had shot news in the region for more than a decade. He was the photographer in the station’s Spartanburg bureau.
“All of us at WYFF News 4 are grieving. 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,” said a spokesperson in a story posted on WYFF’s website.
Here’s a video posted from WYFF’s Facebook page, along with some comments from people in the community.
This has been so heavy on my mind since I learned of this last night. I’ve watched Mike for years and in our community when you welcome the same news team into your homes each day they become like part of your family and daily routine. Thinking of the entire staff and the families of Mike and Aaron. They will be greatly missed. Prayers to you all. — Penny Ballew Stewart
I am deeply saddened to hear of this tragedy in our community. Our sincere condolences, prayers, and thoughts goes out to the families and WYFF Family. — Joyce Williams
Losing Mike McCormick and Aaron Smeltzer like this has felt like losing family members! Since I’m retired, I see a lot more news coverage! Mike had become one of my favorite reporters on WYFF4!! — Patsy Smith Surett
So sad about this tragic news. Both Mike & Aaron were born the same year as my youngest son. What a loss for their families & co-workers. I’m gonna miss you Mike on the weekend reports, well spoken, caring, professional. God bless you both. — Mary Ann Coleman
Love and prayers for their families and for all the WYFF family too! They were two special young men and will be greatly missed! I love that you all seem to care so much for each other. God Bless you all! — Judy Ball
I will miss Mike being in my living room on TV. It’s like losing a family member. I feel for all the loved ones missing Mike and Aaron and hope that God helps comfort them, and all of us. I will miss Mike’s beautiful blue eyes. RIP Mike and Aaron. — Tracey Parrish
So tragic. I will miss Mike’s wonderfully trained voice and Aaron’s eye to see news. Prayers for both your families. — Cyndy Grizzle Morgan
So sorry for your loss and mine too. I felt as though I knew him personally as I do all the WYFF family. — Jennie Sullivan
Had just watched Mike’s Sunday night 11pm anchor show & thought what a great smile & personality as he delivered the news – you could tell he loves his job- then fast forward just over 15 hours & I sit down to watch Monday night WYFF 6pm & get this tragic news! Shocked & saddened for all. — Kathryn Johnson
My condolences to the families, including their WYFF family. — Sharon W. Curenton