The star from Discovery Channel’s Storm Chasers, Joel Taylor, is dead at 38. A statement made on behalf of the family confirms Joel Taylor is dead, and that the Discovery Channel star was aboard a cruise at the time of death.
Taylor studied meteorology at the University of Oklahoma before chasing tornadoes with college friend Reed Timmer for the 2004 documentary Tornado Glory. In 2007, Taylor appeared on the Discovery Channel TV series Storm Chasers with Timmer, a documentary that tracked twisters up close, until its cancellation in 2010. They followed with the documentary Tornado Chasers in 2013.
Many users on Twitter paid tribute to Taylor, including his college friend Reed Timmer. Timmer wrote, “RIP my best friend and storm chasing partner, Joel Taylor. I am shocked and absolutely devastated by the loss of my incredible, caring friend.” Timmer ended the heartfelt message with: “We lost a legend.”
Fans also took to Twitter to offer condolences to Taylor’s family and friends and share their own stories about the storm chaser. Many showed their deep respect for the adrenaline junkie. The Team Western OK Chaser Facebook page in Oklahoma wrote, “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.”
Many were shocked to hear that Joel Taylor is dead at 38, commending his passion for life and kind nature. “The cause of the death has not yet been determined,” said funeral director Richard Dugger II in a statement.
According to TMZ, Taylor was reportedly aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship known for partying and drug use when his body was discovered. The cruise line confirmed to People magazine that Taylor had been a guest on board and offered their condolences. They told People, “A member of our Care Team is providing support and assistance to his family.”
Law enforcement sources say they believe Taylor’s death was an OD, TMZ reports. Officials are waiting on toxicology results to determine the cause of death.
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