Joel Taylor, Star of Discovery Channel's 'Storm Chasers,' Dead at 38
By Desiree Murphy
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Joel Taylor of Discovery Channel's 'Storm Chasers' Dead at Age 38
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Joel Taylor, best known as one of the stars from Discovery Channel's documentary reality series, Storm Chasers, died suddenly on Tuesday. He was 38.
The network confirmed the news to ET on Wednesday, releasing the following statement:
"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. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time."
Although the cause of death has yet to be determined, Richard L. Duggar II of the Martin-Duggar funeral home told ET on behalf of the family that Taylor died while on a cruise.
"We ask for your understanding during this difficult time, and your respect for the family while they deal with the loss of their son," a statement from the funeral home reads.
According to The Washington Post, Taylor studied meteorology at the University of Oklahoma. As a student at the university, he chased the infamous Moore tornado of May 3, 1999, which caused more than $1 billion in damage and killed 36 people. Winds in that storm were clocked at 301 mph, the highest recorded on Earth.
Shortly after the tragic news broke, friends of the Elk City, Oklahoma, native took to Twitter to share their condolences.
"RIP my best friend and storm chasing partner, Joel Taylor," Taylor's former co-star, meteorologist Reed Timmer, wrote. "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," he added. "I'll miss you forever, Joel. We lost a legend."
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
Here is video of one of Joel's many tornado intercepts, but this one from May 29, 2001 when just 21 in the TX Panhandle. Incredible natural instinct chasing tornadoes and reading the sky. No one better at dominating back roads behind the wheel https://t.co/wIx1AUDKng
I was lucky enough to meet Joel a few years ago at Reed’s wedding. He was so kind to me and we got to hang out for a bit during those few days. I snapped this photo of him and that just seemed like who he was. A huge smile. RIP Joel Taylor…you will be so missed. pic.twitter.com/mZI5eHzhKG
I’m heartbroken to hear of the passing of Joel Taylor. My heart goes out to his parents. Long before his Discovery fame, Joel and his parents accompanied us on a trip to Hawaii while we taped our show Atmosphere’s. His passion for tornadoes was infectioushttps://t.co/tXUiUF5aUo
Another great chaser gone too soon. We are deeply saddened to hear that Joel Taylor, a person who had a huge passion for storm chasing, has passed away at the age of 38. Please keep his family in your prayers. #chaseon
Horrible to hear that we've lost Joel Taylor today. One of the kindest chasers I've met - he was more than happy to take a picture with a star-struck nerd back in 2014. He will be missed. pic.twitter.com/vm1HCvuBAS