As with many tragedies, Brandon's story is not one of a single event, but instead a sequence that could so easily have ended very differently. Brandon was certainly not the first or last teen to storm out of their house after an argument with their parents... while some media has played up the video game aspect of the story, this is a bit of a 'red herring' in that it could have been so many other things instead. Too much TV, internet chat messaging, cell phone use, staying out with friends, or whatever - the battles between teens and their parents happen every day, and there are so many things that can become obsessive or disruptive in a teen's life.
Though we may never know where Brandon was going, fate first stepped in with the breakdown of his bicycle on the Oro-Medonte trail. Then as darkness fell Brandon ended up off the trail and in a thick wooded/brush area. And, in the tragic end, Brandon suffered an accident, likely falling out of a tree, that caused his death.
While hindsight always offers the potential of doubt and second-guessing, the fact is that there was every likelihood that this story would have ended before it even began, with Brandon returning home soon after he left.
The cruel twists continued during the search, with so many searching so close to where Brandon was finally found and yet he remained missing.
If there is any sliver of grace to be found in the story, it is that hunters finally came upon Brandon's body on November 5th, before winter snows blanket the ground. Finally fate had decided that it had been cruel enough, and that it was time for closure and healing to begin.