It's odd to see a mechanical drive fail like that. Their modes are usually mechanical failure (*CLUNK*) or repeated unrecoverable filesystem errors. It's usually SSD that has subtle read failures that lock up devices. I've only ever lost one HDD, which gave me plenty of time to get the files off, but plenty of SSD which would either not boot sometimes (and then never), or cause random filesystem "meltings" where the filesystem would just corrupt in front of my eyes yet be fine after a reformat... for a while.
My guess would be their cache, but that's wholly a guess.
And being that Wayfarer is a heavy beast, it probably shows up there more, but you really should have been seeing problems on MacOS too.
Yeah, it's puzzling to me too, especially since SMART doesn't see any failed sectors. It could be the cache or the logic. Perhaps it's dusty in there and it overheated at some point. And I haven't seen any errors in MacOS at all. Their "hardware test" indicates that SMART is "verified", whatever that means.