Carl Roe (also known as Karl by friends and family), a partner at Whitby Salvage, was travelling towards Pickering when the incident occurred at around 8.30pm last Friday evening.
He was driving a yellow Peugeot 106 and was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident at the foot of Saltergate Bank, near the old Saltersgate Inn.
The vehicle left the road at the near side and collided with a tree.
Three passengers were also in vehicle and a 23-year-old man from Whitby who was a passenger in the vehicle was airlifted to James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough, although his injuries were not life-threatening and he has since been discharged from hospital.
A 22-year-old man from Whitby was taken to Scarborough Hospital suffering from a bruised jaw and another man, also from Whitby, suffered a minor injury but did not require hospital treatment.
No other vehicles are believed to have been involved in the accident.
Since the accident tributes have appeared at the crash site and on social networking sites such as Facebook.
Nicknamed “Waxy”, friends have said Carl had a “massive, cheeky smile”, he was “one in a million, with a heart of gold” and was “loved by everyone”.
One tribute said: “I still can’t believe you’ve gone mate, I drive past where it happened every day an every night.
“I get shivers all the way along that road.
“I’ll never forget the times we had when you were with us.
“These memories are going to last forever in my heart.
“I love you mate.
“You were taken from us way to soon.
“All i keep seeing is your massive smile in my head.”
Parents Allison Roe and Graham Lilley and siblings Davie and Samantha Roe would like to thank everyone for their messages of condolence through this extremely difficult period.
Officers are appealling to anyone who can establish how the collision occurred to contact them with information.
Traffic constable Neil Cholmondeley, of North Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Group, said: “I urge anyone who witnessed the collision itself or saw the yellow Peugeot prior to the collision, to contact the police as soon as possible.
“The vehicle had travelled from the direction of Whitby towards Pickering and it is important that anyone who saw it at any stage along its journey gets in touch.
“Any information could be vital to the investigation.”
Anyone who can help officers with their enquiries is urged to contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, selecting option 2 and ask for Neil Cholmondeley, quoting reference 12120042256.