Anthony Staplin was the driver of a Mercedes Citan, which collided with a wall in Medomsley Road in Consett, on Thursday evening, May 19.
The 44-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.
In a statement, his family paid tribute to him and said: “Anthony, known as Tony, was a loving father, son, brother, and uncle.
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“He was a massive fan of Sunderland Football Club and watched every single match.
“Tony loved taking his dog for walks, eating food, and watching the ‘Friday’ films.
“He was incredibly caring towards others and would always go out of his way to help anyone, no matter what he was doing.
“He was outgoing with a constant smile on his face and was always the life and soul of the party.
“He will be forever remembered by all of us and leaves an empty space our lives.
“We will miss him more and more for every day he is gone.”
Anthony leaves behind his three children – Lewis, 20, Jay, 18, and Leoni, 17, as well as his five siblings, father and many other much-loved family and friends.
His family have asked for privacy as they grieve and come to terms with what happened.
The road was closed for several hours following the incident to allow investigators to work at the scene.
A passenger who was also travelling in the Mercedes suffered minor injuries in the crash.