Cover, News, Obituaries

Funeral planned for UM alumnus killed while reporting on extreme weather

Mike McCormick.jpg

UM alumnus Mike McCormick was killed Memorial Day when a tree struck the news van carrying him and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer. Funeral services will be held Saturday, June 2 in Spartanburg, S.C.

Photo courtesy WYFF-TV.

Funeral services have been scheduled for UM alumnus Mike McCormick, a TV anchor working in South Carolina who was killed May 28 along with photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer when a tree fell on their news van in North Carolina.

The memorial service for McCormick, a 2004 graduate of the School of Communication, will be held Saturday, June 2 in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

McCormick and Smeltzer were reporting on extreme rainfall affecting Polk County, North Carolina when the 3-foot-wide tree toppled over, destabilized by roots that had been loosened in the saturated ground. Both men were killed instantly, according to Tryon Fire Chief Geoffrey Tennant.

“He lost his life doing what he loved,” said Corey Davis, a former coworker of McCormick’s at WYFF, in a video posted by the station.

“Forget the awards, forget the recognition,” Davis said. “For him, it was not about that. For him, it was about being a journalist who came out there and did their job.”

McCormick began reporting for WYFF News 4 in 2007, after spending 3 years as a writer at Miami’s WSVN and then KHOG in Fayetteville, Arkansas. McCormick also worked as a staff member for The Miami Hurricane during his time as an undergraduate student at UM.

Paul Driscoll, associate professor and vice dean for academic affairs, recalls McCormick’s time at UM.

“Mike was a terrific student and a great reporter,” Driscoll said. “He was very outgoing and I remember him well. This is tragic news and my heart goes out to his family.”

May 31, 2018


Emily Dulohery

Emily Dulohery can be reached via email at or on Twitter at @edulohery.

Around the Web
  • Error
  • UM News
  • Error

RSS Error: WP HTTP Error: fsocket timed out

The Fall Lecture series explores topics on accelerated resolution therapy treatments, pain managemen ...

As the Bahamas urges tourists to visit its islands unaffected by Hurricane Dorian, University of Mia ...

Katya Saunders, president of the Bahamian Students Association, is leading a relief effort to help h ...

The uniqueness of the University of Miami—as a place to live, learn, share knowledge, and innovate—s ...

University of Miami President Julio Frenk touted the University’s recent accomplishments in his seco ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.