12/01/2012 10:21 EST | Updated 01/31/2013 05:12 EST

Fatal overnight crash linked to alcohol

Police have linked two collisions overnight in Montreal to alcohol, just as Operation Nez Rouge gets underway.

A high-speed accident in Montreal has left one man dead and another in critical condition.

The accident occurred at around 2 a.m. Saturday, when the driver, 21, lost control of his vehicle on Van Horne Avenue near Waverley Street in Montreal's Mile End neighbourhood.

A witness, Joseph Zsombor-Pindera, said that he saw the car speeding down the Van Horne Avenue off-ramp before it spun out and crashed.

Zsombor-Pindera said the car was going much faster than it should have been.

"When I first saw it, I thought it was someone drag racing."

The car ricocheted off a parked car and crashed into a wall.

The driver died from his injuries later in hospital. Another passenger is in critical condition, and authorities fear for his life.

A female passenger walked away with only a few scratches and minor bruises.

In another collision at about 3:40 a.m., a car was ripped in half after it struck a pole on the West Island.

The driver lost control of his car while heading north on des Sources Boulevard near Hymus Boulevard.

The driver, 23, only suffered minor injuries.

Police suspect alcohol was a factor in both crashes.

Meanwhile, Operation Nez Rouge was launched last night in Montreal.

The volunteer drive-home service helps keep drunk drivers off the streets by offering rides home for people who have been drinking during the holiday season.

Marc Infante, Nez Rouge spokesperson, said they are always looking for more volunteers.