Funeral services set for Sullivan officers

By Kathy Helms-Hughes


k Funeral services have been set for two Sullivan County officers who died in a traffic accident Saturday night while responding to emergency traffic on New Beasonwell Road in Kingsport.
   According to Sullivan County Lt. Don Monteith, it still has not been determined what caused the accident which claimed the life of 46-year-old Deputy Steve Riner and 40-year-old Reserve Deputy Barry Shelton.
   Riner, 1921 Bowater Drive, and Shelton, 562 Packinghouse Road, were responding to a second call on a domestic violence incident when Riner's vehicle went into a yaw -- sliding sideways while still rolling -- ran off the roadway and hit a tree.
   Lt. Monteith said Kingsport Police are investigating the accident.
   Riner had been employed by Sullivan County Sheriff's Office since 1990. Shelton was employed by Eastman and joined the reserve force in 1999.
   Shelton's family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m. today at Bloomingdale Baptist Church, with the funeral service scheduled to follow directly afterward. Burial will be Thursday at Tri-Cities Memory Gardens across from Tri-Cities Regional Airport. The funeral procession will leave Oak Hill Funeral Home at 10 a.m. with graveside services at 11 a.m.
   Because Deputy Riner's body was sent for autopsy, a memorial service has tentatively been set for Thursday, Lt. Monteith said, with the family receiving friends from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m.
   Funeral services will be held Friday at Riner's Tabernacle on Pond Springs Road with burial to follow at East Lawn Cemetery.
   The Fraternal Order of Police, Burgess-Mills No. 11, has established a memorial fund in honor of the victims. Proceeds will be used to benefit survivors of the two deputies.
   Contributions may be made by sending a check to: Burgess-Mills No. 11, P.O. Box 933, Kingsport, TN 37662. Please note on the check: Memorial Fund for Riner/Shelton.