WYFF Reporter, Cameraman Killed Covering Severe Weather

By Chris Ariens 

Two members of Greenville, S.C., NBC affiliate WYFF were killed today while covering severe weather in the outer bands of subtropical Storm Alberto.

WYFF weekend anchor and reporter Mike McCormick and cameraman Aaron Smeltzer died Monday when a tree fell on their SUV while covering heavy rain in Polk County, N.C.

“All of us at WYFF News 4 are grieving,” said anchor Michael Cogdill during this afternoon’s newscast. “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.”


McCormick had been with the Hearst-owned station since 2007, joining from KHBS/KHOG in Fayetteville, Ark. In 2014, he was named anchor of WYFF’s Sunday newscasts.

Smeltzer was the photographer in WYFF’s Spartanburg bureau. He joined WYFF just three months ago, but had been a news photographer in the area for more than a decade.

NBC’s Kerry Sanders, covering Alberto from Florida, reported on the death of the WYFF news crew during his story on Nightly News this evening.