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Local News

2 South Carolina Journalists Die While Covering Alberto

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WYFF News 4/Hearst Television Inc.

Two South Carolina journalists were killed when a tree fell on their SUV Monday.

The accident happened on Highway 176 in Polk County, North Carolina. Anchor Mike McCormick and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer, both with WYFF News 4 in Greenville, South Carolina, were covering severe weather in the Carolinas when the accident happened. Authorities say they were both instantly killed by the impact.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster extended his condolences in a statement via Twitter Monday.

“I just spoke to our friends at WYFF to offer my condolences on behalf of all South Carolinians for the tragic loss of these two young men,” McMaster said. “It is with heavy hearts that Peggy and I lift up our prayers tonight.”

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper also extended his condolences and warned people to stay safe in the Subtropical Storm Alberto that’s sweeping through the South.

"Two journalists working to keep the public informed about this storm have tragically lost their lives, and we mourn with their families, friends and colleagues," Cooper said in a statement. "North Carolina needs to take Alberto seriously. I urge everyone to keep a close eye on forecasts, warnings and road conditions, especially in western North Carolina where even heavier rain is predicted through tomorrow."