Laboratory results recently released by Puerto Rican officials suggest that Storm Chasers star Joel Taylor died earlier this year from an Ecstasy overdose.
A report from The Blast cited the Bureau of Forensic Sciences of Puerto Rico, which concluded, after a "meticulous review," that Joel Taylor's cause of death was related to a cocktail of drugs that were found in his system. These drugs included the party drug MDMA, better known by its street name of Ecstasy, ketamine, tricyclic antidepressants, amphetamine derivative MDA, and the sedative Zolpidem, a drug commonly marketed as Ambien.
According to The Blast, it took some time for the test results to be confirmed due to a number of hitches, including issues with the lab testing machines in Puerto Rico, and local authorities sending back Taylor's samples to the United States for further analysis.
Although it is often mistaken as a "safe" drug by its mostly young users, MDMA is an "addictive, dangerous, and even toxic" drug, according to DrugAbuse.com. It is known to cause "serious" side effects when consumed in large amounts, such as uncontrolled body movements, restlessness, anxiety, confusion, clenched jaws, and headaches. Fatal overdoses are rare, according to The Recovery Village, though it is possible for symptoms and side effects to persist "with repeat overuse."
As previously reported by TMZ, Joel Taylor died on January 23 of this year, just two and a half weeks after his 38th birthday, while partying on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line Harmony of the Seas. The gossip publication noted that the Storm Chasers mainstay was found in his cabin unresponsive and that authorities were alerted when the ship reached its destination in San Juan, Puerto Rico.Sources who were present on the cruise alleged that there were a lot of drugs on the ship and that Taylor was consuming a lot of them, according to TMZ. The publication added that there were "several people" arrested at Fort Lauderdale, where the cruise ship departed from after authorities busted them for drug possession.
One passenger told TMZ that Taylor was consuming a lot of GHB while partying on the dance floor. That was where he reportedly went unconscious and was taken back to his room after collapsing. As of this writing, no new reports on Joel Taylor's cause of death have listed GHB as one of the specific drugs found in his system.
As noted by Fox News, Joel Taylor starred on the Discovery series Storm Chasers from 2008 until its cancelation four years later and had previously studied meteorology at the University of Oklahoma. He was regularly partnered with his friend, Reid Timmer, who looked back at his time chasing storms with Taylor as he paid tribute to the late reality star on Twitter shortly after his passing.