Accident halts live TV game show in Germany

German TV host Thomas Gottschalk right, watches over contestant Samuel Koch after a stunt went wrong during the top rated German game show "Wetten Dass" (Bet it...?) in Duesseldorf, Saturday Dec. 4 , 2010. Koch tried to jump over a moving car, driven by his father, wearing "Kangaroo" shoes when he hit the car with his head and fell to the ground. The show was immediately stopped and Koch was reported to be recovering in hospital. Canadian teen idol Justin Bieber was due to make an appearance on the canceled show and asked his Twitter followers to pray for Koch. (AP Photo/Ralph Orlowski, pool)

December 5, 2010 12:42:04 PM PST
A live broadcast of a popular German game show was halted after a contestant was severely injured while trying to jump over a moving car driven by his father.

The accident occurred Saturday night just before Canadian teen idol Justin Bieber was to appear on the show, prompting him to say on his Twitter account: "Please pray for Samuel Koch & his family as we wait and hope for his health and safety."

Koch's stunt may have gone terribly wrong because the special shoes he was wearing for the jump, featuring a suspension system, malfunctioned.

Broadcaster ZDF said the accident by the 23-year-old prompted it to cancel the live broadcast of the "Wetten Dass" ("Bet It"), which had an audience of about 10 million people, according to German media.

Koch suffered multiple back injuries and fractures, underwent surgery Sunday, and his condition was initially life threatening, the German news agency DPAD quoted Duesseldorf hospital Dr. Wolfgang Raab as saying.

But it remained unclear if or when Koch would fully recover since "he is in an extremely critical stage," Raab told journalists.

Bieber, a 16-year-old singer, added on Twitter that he felt sorry for not being able to perform in Germany, but "some things are more important than putting on a show. We will be back I promise."

The TV show also was to include a gig by singer Robbie Williams, and Phil Collins, Cher or actress Cameron Diaz were among the guests, according to the broadcaster's website.

"Wetten dass" has been on TV for nearly 30 years and is one of Germany's most successful shows.