A British former commercial airline pilot began a life sentence for killing his wife by disabling the passenger airbag and unclipping her seatbelt before purposefully crashing their car into a tree.

A British girl has been left blind after an airbag inflated and hit her in the face during an horrific car crash.

Kelly Green was a passenger in her father’s car days before her 16th birthday when it hit a pothole, collided with the central reservation and flipped on to its roof.

Both the driver and passenger airbags inflated on impact, but while her father Geoff walked away from the crash with just cuts and bruises, Kelly was left with devastating injuries to her face.

She had to be cut from the family’s BMW 3 Series sedan and was taken to hospital for surgery.

She has now had five operations.

But doctors say she will never see from her right eye again and there is only a slim chance of regaining the sight in her left. She is learning Braille and touch-typing, and is trying to walk with a cane.

Kelly’s mother, Bev, 49, said: “You don’t think an airbag could cause as much damage as this. Both of the airbags went off in the crash, and the one in front of Kelly hit her straight in the eyes.

“She will definitely not get her sight back in the right eye and her left eye doesn’t look promising. She will be having further surgery and we are hoping there could be a chance that one day she will regain the sight in that eye.’

Neighbours, family and friends are all rallying round to raise funds for specialist equipment.

Mrs Green added: “Our lives have been turned upside down but Kelly’s positive attitude is keeping us going. It hasn’t affected her. She is still the same, the only difference is she can’t see.”

Her father, a 47-year-old postman, added: “Her face was a complete mess afterwards. The impact pushed her right eye back into the socket. But amazingly we survived when we could easily have been killed.”

Kelly said: ‘I was upset when I was told I’d lost my sight. I thought people wouldn’t talk to me. But I want people to know I haven’t changed. I have just had to adjust to everything, I’m still the same girl and I’m not going to give up.

“Some things are a bit harder but I’m getting used to using my cane now.”

‘I am still going to school but I am hoping to go to college and then do a masseuse course because it’s something I can do with my hands.”

A BMW spokesman said: ‘We are saddened to hear of the injury to Kelly Green while she was a passenger in a BMW.

‘We would welcome the chance to inspect the vehicle to carry out a thorough investigation. Should we be asked, we would fully co-operate with any third party investigation.

“Airbags fitted to our vehicles have saved countless lives since their introduction.” - Daily Mail