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TV anchor, photojournalist killed when tree falls on vehicle

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TRYON, N.C. — A North Carolina state trooper says a tree fell across a highway, crushing a vehicle from a South Carolina television station and killing a TV anchor and photojournalist.

Master Trooper Murico Stephens says the tree struck the WYFF-TV vehicle around 2:30 p.m. Monday on U.S. Highway 176 near Tryon. The area received heavy rain from the fringes of Subtropical Storm Alberto.

WYFF-TV says anchor Mike McCormick and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer were heading to a story when they were killed.

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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