There is a "tight approach" to the crossing, said Gary Warner of the Kansas Highway Patrol, which is overseeing the investigation.
"It's not perfectly aligned with the bridge," he said. "There is a jog in the road before it reaches the bridge."
Warner said the highway patrol was still trying to determine why Peterson decided to drive through the water.
Peterson, 63, is a fixture in the Douglass community. Besides serving as announcer at athletic games, he has worked at the high school as an assistant baseball coach, school resource officer and as a substitute bus driver off and on since 2007, said Rob Reynolds, superintendent for the Douglass school district.
"Joe is part of our community," Reynolds said. "He's recovering. Physically, he's doing very well."
Peterson also has worked for the highway patrol and as a Butler County sheriff's deputy, said Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet.
Peterson was working as a substitute driver on the route Thursday, Reynolds said.
"He has driven the route before," Reynolds said. "He knows all of the routes."
Asked if the school district requires its bus drivers to observe the edict of "Turn Around Don't Drown," Reynolds said, "That's our policy. There's no reason to cross water."
The highway patrol's Warner said that warning is "pretty much standard."
"We want drivers to know that any amount of water moving swiftly across the road will put them at risk of being swept off," he said.
While Hilyard acknowledged there is a "funny curve" that lays before the crossing, he said there's still time to see whether there is water on the crossing before reaching it.
He said Peterson shouldn't have attempted to drive over the crossing.
"That accident never should have happened, I believe," Hilyard said.
He said the water wasn't over the crossing when he went to work Thursday morning. Plus, the regular bus driver -- not Peterson -- drove the route that morning.
"As long as everybody is safe," Hilyard added, "it's all good."
Kathy Blair, who worked at Douglass High School when Peterson was there, said safety of children in the small community of about 1,700 was very important to him.
"This has to be crushing for him," she said. "He's helped many children. He's a good member of our community."
Crews spent most of Friday trying to remove the bus from the creek.
"It's pretty labor intensive," Warner said. "We don't want to cause any more damage to the bus. It will be checked over."
As for Hilyard, Carr saw both a dad and firefighter during the rescue.
"He knew what he had to do," Carr said, "and kept a clear head.
Hilyard gave his children an extra hug Thursday night before they went to bed. He was up and gone before Claire and Dalton were awake Friday morning.
"My wife drove them to school," he said.
Contributing: Stan Finger of The Eagle.