An North Carolina news crew died in a crash on Highway 176 in Polk County on Monday.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol told us two WYFF employees were hit by a tree while driving southbound.

Reporter Mike McCormick and photographer Aaron Smeltzer were in Polk County covering the dangerous weather conditions there.

McCormick started working at WYFF in 2007 as a reporter in Spartanburg. He was also the anchor of the station’s weekend evening newscast.

Smeltzer previously worked at WSPA-TV before joining WYFF earlier this year.

Highway Patrol said the WYFF news vehicle was traveling south on Highway 176 when a tree fell and hit the vehicle.

Polk County officials said NC State Highway Patrol is handling the investigation and said Highway 176 is shut down between Thompson Road in Saluda and Harmon Field Road in Tryon.

People are being asked to avoid the area.