It happened in Richardson, on the campus of the University of Texas at Dallas. The university says the crane was being disassembled at the time.
A witness in a nearby campus library told reporters the accident sounded like a loud crash of metal from the sky. He also heard screams.
The weather may have been a factor. A meteorologist with the National Weather Service says a band of thunderstorms moving through the area brought wind gusts in excess of 40 miles an hour.
The crane was being used to construct a large classroom building scheduled to be completed next year.