A boy who brought joy to his family died after a ‘tragic accident’ on the M3 on Boxing Day in which the family car hit a verge in fog, an inquest heard.

Alfie Mario Aiello-Da Cruz, 11, died on the southbound side of the motorway near Winchester on the evening of December 26 2021.

He was travelling home to Fair Oak from Basingstoke with his family when the crash happened.

The inquest, held at Winchester Coroners’ Court on July 19, heard how Alfie, who was a backseat passenger in the car driven by his father Marco Da-Cruz, was thrown through the window.

READ MORE: Alfie Mario Aiello-Da Cruz, 11, died in M3 crash on Boxing Day

Giving evidence, PC Robert Giles said: “The Nissan Qashqai, driven by Mr Da Cruz, went along the mouth of the exit slipway and into the grass verge.

“The car was launched into the air after hitting the verge.

“Alfie was partially ejected from the vehicle as it rolled.”

Although there were no witnesses to the crash, fellow M3 drivers reported there being ‘patchy’ fog along the highway that evening. This was not deemed a significant factor in Alfie’s death.

PC Giles said: “The fog was not sufficiently thick to obscure the road signs, but it is likely that it made the junction seem further away.

“No defects were identified in the vehicle.”

Daily Echo: Alfie Mario Aiello-Da CruzAlfie Mario Aiello-Da Cruz

Dr Samantha Holden, consultant paediatric pathologist at Southampton General Hospital, said Alfie suffered several injuries.

She said he suffered a significant head injury, and multiple other injuries but added his death would have been 'very rapid'.

Area coroner Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp described Alfie’s death as a ‘tragic accident’.

She said: “After hitting the verge, the car impacted the barrier, causing it to roll with some force.

“Alfie, who was a passenger in the back seat, was ejected through the window and was outside the car as it rolled.

“Tragically, he suffered fatal injuries due to blunt force trauma to his head, and the impact would have been immediate.

“Mr Da Cruz is an experienced driver and the road conditions were not an issue.

“It’s quite possible the fog played a role in this.

“It is a tragic accident that has occurred, and is the cause of Alfie’s death.”

A family tribute issued by police said: "Our beloved Alfie. We were so lucky to have you in our lives, giving us brightness, joy, love and happiness.

"Now that you have been taken away from us so suddenly and at such a young age, just 11 years old, we are going to miss you forever.

"We will carry in our hearts your love for all of our lives, until our last breath, and we hope that one day we will meet in God’s heaven to give you the last hug that we wished to have given to you before you left.

"We love you and always will. Anna, Marcos and Chloe.”