Joel Taylor of the Discovery Channel series "Storm Chasers" recently died at age 38. The sad news was shared by his friends and colleagues, with no cause of death known at this point. According to TMZ, it appears his death was not storm-related.
Joel Taylor was part of the reality show for its entire five-season run, ending in 2012. His former co-star Reed Timmer reacted on Twitter:
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 pic.twitter.com/htN45t8wik— Reed Timmer (@ReedTimmerAccu) January 24, 2018
Here's Joel's bio on Discovery's official "Storm Chasers" site:
"Growing up near the heart of tornado alley, Joel had a front-row seat to plenty of severe storms and tornadoes. Always fascinated by these phenomena, he attended the University of Oklahoma to study meteorology. There, he met someone who shared his passion for severe weather and storm chasing, Reed Timmer. The two have intercepted countless tornadoes, and with Joel's keen knowledge of the back roads of the Great Plains, he has long been the trusted driver of Reed's TVN team. Last year, Reed and Joel's working relationship soured when Reed expanded TVN's scientific mission, in which Joel had little interest. With Reed questioning Joel's dedication to the team, Joel quit TVN, and began focusing more of his time on his career in real estate. With a new chase season underway, Joel has reconnected with Reed and recommitted himself to the team. Though some tension still lingers between he and Reed, Joel is back behind the wheel of the Dominator."
Fans and friends have been honoring Joel on social media. The official cause of death may or may not eventually be released to the public. No matter what, this is a tragedy, and he will be missed.
UPDATE: According to TMZ, Joel Taylor's death is being investigated by the FBI; it's suspected he overdosed on the drug GHB on a cruise ship.
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