North Carolina TV anchor, photographer dies after tree falls on SUV

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POLK COUNTY, N. C. — A North Carolina weather crew died Monday when a tree fell on their SUV.

NBC affiliate WYFF News 4 confirmed it was two of its employees – Mike McCormick and Aaron Smeltzer – who died in the accident, which happened around 2:20 p.m. on U.S. 176.

The North Carolina Highway Patrols said the employees were hit by a tree while driving southbound.

The crash happened just feet away from a landslide that rocked the area last week.

Highway 176 is closed from Harmon Field road to Saluda.

We asked highway patrol and the Polk county emergency management director if this accident was caused by a landslide– they both said no it was just a single tree.

But Bobby Arledge, the EMA director, said it’s possible weather played a part. “It’s hard to tell with the instability of the mountain.”

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