This will probably get buried but I thought I’d lend my knowledge as an atmospheric scientist.
There’s a kind of lightning called a “positive cloud-to-ground strike” that can strike up to 15 miles away from clouds. These strikes are actually quite rare (>5% of strikes) but are much, much more powerful (up to 1billion V, 300,000 amps) than normal lightning. When you hear of “bolts from the blue,” it’s likely a positive strike.
Additionally, researchers have found that lightning can propagate from any clouds touching the main storm clouds. You can be in bright blue skies and have a lightning strike because of high altitude clouds that are connected to a thunderstorm.
This truly is a terrible accident. My heart goes out to the family, friends, and community of this talented human being.