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Greenville Business Magazine

Fellow Journalists, Friends, Local Leaders Shocked, Saddened by Deaths of WYFF Employees

May 29, 2018 10:36AM ● By Chris Haire

Credit: WYFF

Journalists at home and across the nation took to social media yesterday and today to express their sorrow at the passing of WYFF News 4 anchor Mike McCormick and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer.

The two respected journalists died on assignment in Polk County, N.C. when their SUV was struck by a falling tree. 

The tragic news shocked and saddened local members of the media, as well as their Fourth Estate comrades across the country. The pair were also honored by U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, state Attorney General Alan Wilson, Greenville Mayor Knox White, and S.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Bill Rhyne, aka Trooper Bill. 
“Mike and Aaron were stellar journalists, dedicated to covering news in this market,” remarked John Humphries WYFF 4 President and General Manager. “They were beloved members of our newsroom, and we will miss them tremendously. Today is a difficult day, and there will be many more ahead.”

“All of us at WYFF 4 are grieving,” said News Director Bruce Barkley. “We thank you for your comfort as we mourn. We ask that you keep Mike and Aaron's families in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

In a press release, WYFF noted the following: Mike is originally from Florida and started at WYFF 4 in 2007 as a reporter in our Spartanburg newsroom. In 2014, he was named weekend anchor of WYFF News 4 at 6 and 11pm. When Mike was not reporting or anchoring the news, you would find him in the kitchen. He loved using local, fresh ingredients from the Hub City Farmers' Market. Aaron started at WYFF 4 earlier this year as a photojournalist in our Spartanburg bureau. Originally from Tazewell, Va, he’s been covering news in our area for more than a decade. He was an avid baseball fan and loved traditional country music.