So sorry for Mr. Powell and his friends and family.
This tragedy is certainly similar to John Likely's death in June, 2014. Here's the link
While descending, just above Trailside Meadow, the trail makes several switchbacks, reversing direction and heading west, then back to the east. See this map
. If one is hiking in the dark, it is easy to miss the switchback, and in fact, the terrain almost invites you to continue to the east.
Unfortunately, the flat bench-like path eventually cliffs out, and if anyone tries to continue that way...
It took 5 days to find Likely's body, even though it was really close to all the searching.
Edit: And here is the Shyam Das thread from August, 2012: Missing Hiker for 36+ Hours