Joel, who was a driver/meteorologist on the Discovery Channel’s “Storm Chasers,” has reportedly died aboard a cruise ship bound for the Caribbean. The 38-year-old reality star’s cause of death remains unclear, but TMZ reports Taylor may have overdosed prior to being found unresponsive in his cabin Tuesday on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Harmony of the Seas, chartered by the gay cruise line Atlantis Events.
“It appears the death could be an overdose and Joel Taylor was consuming controlled substances,” law-enforcement sources told TMZ. Passengers aboard the ship said that they witnessed Taylor taking drugs, including ecstasy and cocaine. One said Taylor was knocked unconscious after consuming a large quantity of GHB on the dance floor. The source said Taylor was removed from the floor by two friends who then took him to his cabin. A rep for the boat tells TMZ Taylor was found unresponsive in his cabin Tuesday and law enforcement was alerted when the boat arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico. On a private Facebook group devoted to the cruise, these comments were posted in the past 30 minutes:
“Our friend saw him getting dragged out of the concert last night.”
“Rumor is that there have been 3 deaths on board. Only this one made the news since he was famous.”
The documentary-style reality TV series “Storm Chasers” premiered in October 2007. The show chronicled several teams of storm chasers as they attempted to intercept tornadoes, collecting scientific data to improve warning systems and filming up-close footage using special armored vehicles and equipment in order to obtain a more complete picture of tornado structures. Joel Taylor, an Elk City, Oklahoma, native, joined the popular Discovery Channel series in 2008 from season 2. Taylor’s team, from the website www.TornadoVideos.Net, consisted of meteorologist Reed Timmer and Chris Chittick, a photographer/probe technician. Their team was known as “Team Dominator,” referring to the name of their armored chase vehicle, the SRV Dominator, driven by Taylor.
“We are so saddened to hear about Joel’s passing. We will always remember him fondly as an incredible meteorologist and driver of ‘The Dominator,’ ” a representative for the Discovery Channel told PEOPLE in a statement on behalf of the network. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”
Very sad story and our condoleances go out to his family and friends.
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Lesley Middleton, owner of PINK IN OUR LIVES