The victim has been named locally as Freddy McKendry.
Police say he died after the Audi he was driving collided with a tree on the Altnahinch Road in Loughgiel shortly before 11pm on Sunday.
Causeway Coast and Glens councillor Cara McShane said he was from a “large, very well-known and well respected family” in the Loughgiel area.
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Friends and family have taken to social media to pay tribute to him and express their grief following the sudden death.
One friend wrote: “So hard to take in, another young life gone. We live in such a cruel cruel world, you always spoke away and always had a laugh.
“Honestly I couldn’t say a bad word about you. Such a lovely wee fella that has been taken far too soon.
“Rest in peace Freddy, look over your Mum, Dad, brothers and sister and all the rest of your family and friends.”
Another said: “Hard to believe the awful news. A gentleman that had time for anyone taken far too soon. Rest in peace Freddy, look after your family at this hard time.”
Sinn Fein councillor Ms McShane said: “This is shocking and devastating news. The thoughts and prayers of everyone in this community are with this young person’s family.
“He is from a large, very well-known and well-respected family and I have no doubt that the people in this community will rally round and support the family at this very difficult time.”
She added: “We will show whatever support we can in the difficult days, weeks and months ahead.”
A spokesperson for the Life After bereavement support group said: “On behalf of the Life After family we extend our heartfelt sympathy.”