The driver was speeding on Brainerd Road when her car left the road near the Holiday Bowl, hit a sign for the former Eyear Optical shop and caught fire, Chattanooga police said.
Police tried to get the driver, 22-year-old Antoniece Padgett, and her passenger, 26-year-old Antonio Marbury, out of the burning car even before firefighters and medical crews arrived, but they were unable to save the two.
Dispatchers received a 911 call reporting the crash at 4:31 a.m., according to a police news release. Investigators said the car was traveling east when it went off the south side of the road near the Spring Creek Road intersection.
The two crash deaths on Brainerd Road came just hours after a fatal accident shut down Interstate 75 in both directions near Cleveland for much of Saturday evening.
In a preliminary report released Sunday, the Tennessee Highway Patrol identified 25-year-old Robert Arruda, of Etowah, Tenn., as the driver who was killed.
Investigators reported Arruda was driving a 2004 Buick Rendezvous north close to mile marker 23 near Cleveland, Tenn. Police suggested another vehicle may have bumped Arruda's SUV, which plowed across the median and into the path of a southbound tractor-trailer.
The SUV was knocked back into the median, while the tractor-trailer, driven by 53-year-old Kristina Ross of Crossville, Ala., stopped in the northbound lanes. Ross was uninjured, according to the THP. Both drivers were wearing seat belts.
Traffic on I-75 between exits 25 and 20 sat at a standstill or crept along local streets from around 6:30 p.m. to nearly 11 p.m. Saturday.
Updated Jan. 3 at 11:20 p.m.