Storm Chasers star Joel Taylor died suddenly, according to friends and family. He was 38-years old. It has been revealed that the death was not related to chasing storms as he was reportedly vacationing on a cruise ship. Taylor was also said to have been in good spirts over the last handful of weeks. The cause of death has not been revealed, but TMZ is reporting that it was more than likely from a drug overdose from what witnesses who were on the cruise ship had to say. TMZ also reports that the autopsy is currently underway, so the results should be available soon.
Joel Taylor's best friend and former Storm Chasers costar Reed Timmer took to social media to share a touching tribute to his friend. Along with some moving words, Timmer also shared some pictures from the duo chasing storms from as far back as 2008. He had this to say.
"RIP my best friend and storm chasing partner, Joel Taylor. I am shocked and absolutely devastated by the loss of my incredible, caring friend. We chased so many intense storms, and I wish we could have just one more storm chase. I'll miss you forever, Joel. We lost a legend."
Joel Taylor's storm chasing team, Team Western OK Chaser also sent out a tribute. The statement revealed that Taylor was not a glory chaser and stated that he did it for the love of the storms. The statement also revealed that Taylor would often chase storms for the fun of it, without cameras involved, because he was truly passionate about the extreme weather. Team Western had this to say in a since deleted Facebook post.
"Our community of Elk City and the Storm Chasing community lost a great guy today. Joel Taylor was truly an inspiration to myself and many who knew him. He was one of the most level headed chasers on the roads and truly a classy guy outside of chasing. He didn't chase for the glory he chased because he had a true passion for storms. In the last few years he'd load up with his dad and go chase and not even take a camera. Our hearts are hurting for his mom Tracy and dad Jimmy along with his brother and sister and their children. Please know you are in our prayers. RIP Joel."
According to passengers on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Harmony of the Seas, there were a lot of drugs on board and a few witnesses told TMZ that Joel Taylor was partaking. Cocaine and ecstasy were reportedly on board the ship and many passengers were kicked off of the ship before it departed for drug-related issues. An official cause of death has yet to be determined and this is all speculation at this time. However, the official autopsy results will be made available soon.
Storm Chasers began on the Discovery Channel in 2007 and saw Joel Taylor jump on board the following year. He and his partner, Reed Timmer, would go into the central United States, aka Tornado Alley, during certain times of the year and chase the storms. Timmer and Taylor had their own website where they independently chased storms to gather extreme videos and scientific data in regard to the tornadoes before they joined up with Storm Chasers. When Joel Taylor and Reed Timmer's team joined up with Storm Chasers, they were affectionately called "Team Dominator," due to their extreme vehicle that they utilized. Joel Taylor is survived by his parents and brother and sister. You can read more about the death of Joel Taylor via TMZ.