The other victim is 33-year-old Anthony Cooper.
Police said a car travelling in the westbound lanes of the Centenary Highway at Springfield crossed into oncoming traffic and collided with two cars about 6:30am.
Mr Taavale and Mr Cooper, both driving in separate vehicles, died at the scene.
ABC News reports three other people were treated for serious injuries.
Mr Taavale's passenger, a 22-year-old Shailer Park man, remains in a stable condition at the Princess Alexandra
Mr Cooper's passengers, a 28-year-old man and a 32-year-old Deebing Heights woman, are in a stable condition at the Princess Alexandra Hospital and Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, respectively.
Paying tribute to Mr Cooper, his longtime friend Terry Gordon said he was at a loss for words over his friend's death.
'A beloved brother'
Family members took to Facebook to pay tribute to Mr Taavale.
"It is with great sadness that our family announce the passing of our beloved brother Vaea," Ake Peseta wrote.
"Unfortunately our brother gained his wings [in the] early hours of this morning. At this time we ask that you please respect our privacy as we try navigate this incredibly painful journey."
"We will miss seeing your face at the back of my house drinking with the rest of the boys. Life is too short," Lepa Lofipo wrote.
Mr Taavale was a promising rugby league player.
'More than a player'
His former clubs, including the Wynnum Manly Juniors BRL A-Grade team, spoke to his character and ability.
"An up-and-coming young player with enormous potential who after a few early season setbacks, recently returned and was back to make an impression in the BRL competition," the team wrote on social media.
"Players and coaching staff are deeply shocked and saddened by his sudden passing.
"The Wynnum football club and community pass on our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones. Rest Easy Big V."
Mustangs Brothers Rugby League Football Club wrote: "Yesterday (Sunday) we lost a brother, a friend and an all round great human in Vaea."
"A young man who brightened the life of every single person he met," the club said.
"Vaea was more than a player to this team and even after his time at Mustangs came to an end, he didn't stop helping the team and supporting them.
"His smile was infectious and his attitude was amazing."
The crash forced the closure of the Centenary Highway between Springfield and White Rock for around seven hours.
Photo Facebook Caption: Vaea Taavale