Matthew H. Rokes helped to rescue John R. Adams, Jr., from a cave-in, Tulelake, California, May 24, 1987. John, 15, was pinned by fallen debris in a small cavity of a lava pit after a rockslide at Lava Beds National Monument. Rokes, 25, off-duty police officer, drove to the scene to volunteer his assistance. There, he helped to remove rocks near the cavity’s entrance. Despite the possibility of further collapse, Rokes partially entered the cavity to assist another rescuer, who had entered completely to jack up and shore the unstable lava. Over the next 90 minutes, Rokes handed materials and equipment to the other man, until an offending boulder was moved sufficiently to free John. Rokes and others then removed John from the cavity. John required medical treatment for a leg injury, and he recovered.
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