Police are blaming speed and alcohol for the deaths of two men in a violent crash in west Edmonton Sunday night.

Police say the men, who were driving a white Ford Crown Victoria, were speeding north along 151st Street just before 10 p.m.

When they reached 95th Avenue, police say the driver ignored a stop sign, colliding with a Chrysler Concorde that had been travelling through the intersection.

While the initial collision was not serious, it caused the Crown Vic to veer into a Mazda parked on the street before leaving the road and smashing into a tree.

Both men in the Crown Vic were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver has been identified as a 50-year-old man; his passenger has yet to be identified.

The driver of the second vehicle had only minor injuries, was treated and released.

Like an ‘explosion’

Describing the damage as "catastrophic," Insp. Regan James with EPS said the noise from the crash could be heard by people up and down the street.

“There are a lot of witnesses that heard the crash. It was described as a [sic] explosion because of the amount of damage.”

“Like a big air balloon. Just went poof like something inside exploded and then dust,” said Al Yilmaz, who lives in the neighbourhood. “No fire, nothing.”

Another neighbour who identified himself as Omar A.J. was in his home watching television when he heard a screech followed by a loud thump.

“I thought it was an explosion,” he said. “I came outside and I could hear people screaming ‘Call 911, call 911.’”

“The whole neighbourhood was awake. Everybody was outside in awe and shock.”

A.J. said the car had almost been cut in half.

“And it was an old Crown Victoria and those things are indestructible, essentially, so we figured speed was a factor.”

One man had been ejected from the car during the crash, he said. The second man was still in the car. Neither was moving.

“It was a rough night for everybody that lives around here. Not something you could expect, nothing normal,” he said.

However, it could have been a lot worse had the crash happened during the day when more people were out and about, he added.

Yilmaz estimated the car was going up to 150-200 km/h when it hit the first car an exceptionally fast speed along what is usually a quiet residential street.

“You see the two dead men sitting in the backyard. It was sad. Speed is a number one killer.”

Police say the deaths bring Edmonton’s total traffic fatalities for the year up to 16.