Bear Creek Township, Pennsylvania

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Bear Creek Township is a township in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, United States. The township was the site of a plane crash on May 21, 2000 when an airplane, in its attempt to land at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport in nearby Avoca, crashed in what was described by BBC as a "wooded area" of the township near the intersection of Bear Creek Boulevard (PA-Route 115) and the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, killing the pilot as well as all 19 passengers. NTSB investigation ruled the accident was probably due to low fuel. The incident spurred an FBI investigation and made news across the globe. Passenger safety in the aviation field became a major issue of the 2000 U.S. presidential election. The population was 2,580 at the 2000 census.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 67.8 square miles (175.7 km²), of which, 66.2 square miles (171.4 km²) of it is land and 1.6 square miles (4.2 km²) of it (2.42%) is water. It is drained by both the Susquehanna River and the Lehigh River, which separates it from Carbon County. Interstate 476 has its Wilkes-Barre Interchange in Forest Park with Route 115, which connects the Wyoming Valley and Monroe County. Other important roads are Laurel Run Road, Pittston Boulevard, Suscon Road, and White Haven Road. Its villages include Forest Park, Llewellyn Corners (also in Plains Township,) and Pleasant View Summit.

Demographics

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 2,580 people, 997 households, and 754 families residing in the township. The population density was 39.0 people per square mile (15.0/km²). There were 1,216 housing units at an average density of 18.4/sq mi (7.1/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 98.88% White, 0.31% African American, 0.04% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.08% from other races, and 0.39% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.78% of the population.

There were 997 households out of which 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.0% were married couples living together, 6.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.3% were non-families. 20.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the township the population was spread out with 21.7% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 25.7% from 25 to 44, 29.2% from 45 to 64, and 17.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 104.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.1 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $43,900, and the median income for a family was $49,107. Males had a median income of $36,726 versus $26,053 for females. The per capita income for the township was $19,427. About 4.6% of families and 5.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.1% of those under age 18 and 5.2% of those age 65 or over.

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