SANTA CLARA COUNTY -- Two Sacramento women were not wearing seat belts when they were thrown from a car tumbling down a rain-battered hillside along the Highway 17 summit Wednesday, the California Highway Patrol said.

The two women, ages 20 and 19, suffered major injuries and remain hospitalized at two South Bay hospitals. Two men, both 21 years old and also from Sacramento, were wearing their seat belts and were treated for minor injuries, the CHP said.

The four were descending the summit in the northbound lanes about 1:10 p.m. when the car lost traction, bounced off the center divider and went over the right-hand railing and dropped about 50 to 60 feet down a muddy embankment, witnesses and the CHP said. The female passengers, who were riding in the backseat, ended up outside the vehicle, with one of them pinned underneath.

The male passengers were able to get out of the car and climb back up to the road, where they waved down help. A rescue team from the Santa Clara County Fire Department and Cal Fire used harnesses and cables in heavy rain to bring the injured women to arriving ambulances.

The crash occurred as the area experienced its first steady rainfall of the season, making the road particularly slick as accumulated road oils were brought to the surface.