The details are still foggy surrounding the death of hot rod builder and former Doll Hut co-owner Anthony Castaneda, who died early Monday morning after crashing a vehicle he was apparently working on for a customer. Records from the OC Coroner's office show that Castaneda died just after 1:30 a.m. on Monday the corner of Lincoln and West streets after crashing a pick up truck into another parked car in the area.
The 41 year-old Anaheim resident owned a body shop in Anaheim called Loco Moto, and before that had been a fixture in the OC hot rod scene as the member of local car club The Shifters since 1992. Fellow member and longtime friend Kevan Sledge–who'd talked to Castaneda recently–told the Weekly that the pick up truck Castaneda was driving at the time he crashed wasn't one of his, it was a project he was working on as part of his business. Many also knew Castaneda and his ex-wife Blue as the co-owners of the Doll Hut in Anaheim for a few years in the early 2000s.
Linda Conyers, the previous and most well-known owner of the Doll Hut back when her last name was Jemison, remembers Castaneda and his ex-wife being the first to step up and buy the club when she'd declared in an OC Weekly cover story that she was ready to sell the place and move on. “They were there already 3-4 times a week anyway because there was so much rockabilly going on and that was their scene,” Conyers says. “He really was a sweet guy, charming and funny. [The couple] just seemed like the perfect fit to take it over.” They would be followed by several more club owners to take a stab at holding on to the Hut.
A vigil for Castaneda was held Monday evening at the site of the accident. He is survived by his wife Marcella Vicari (who he was recently separated from) and two young daughters, ages 3 and 5. Recently, Vicari also experienced the death of her best friend Karla Munoz, who was killed in freeway collision back in April while riding her motorcycle on the 55 Freeway near Dyer Rd.
Considering the extensive amount of lives he touched, as a family man, a gear head and a part owner of one of OC's once iconic punk clubs, the grief over Castaneda's passing is being felt by many. “He was a great guy, loved by everybody,” says Sledge. “He made friends from so many different walks of life. It was a big tragedy for a lot of people.”
The Weekly will be sure to keep you updated as more details about the accident unfold.